|Subject:||I am so proud of my husband for sticking up for himself.... (long)|
|Date:||Oct 17 04:09|
|Many who read here know my exit story, so I won't repeat it, but let
me say (for anyone new) that my husband and I have both had a very hard time dealing with
our Mormon families since I began to disbelieve. They've told on me to my former bishop,
demonized me, and even encouraged him to divorce me because I believe differently from
them. Up until recently, my husband has been caught in the middle, not knowing how to deal
with this pressure.
Recently, though, he must have had some kind of epiphany because he has been able to tell his father and even my mother how he feels about their behavior. When he told his dad about my decision initially, about things like my decision to not wear garments, his dad would say things like, "I don't know how you can deal with that." My mom called him a martyr for "staying in that relationship." He got up the courage to tell them that they are not helping us in our relationship since we're trying to work things out. He told them that we're happier and more peaceful when we have less contact with them and that they mostly just cause us stress since they're basically trying to encourage us to get divorced.
The issue of contact with our families has become a big one recently since we've chosen not to have much for the past month or so. I really would like to have a normal relationship with my parents and family (and his, for that matter), but right now it's difficult since they're so judgemental (or some of them, anyway). My mom, for instance, always cries when she comes over, even though she should be able to see that my husband, the kids, and I are happy and thriving.
While I prefer to just avoid contention and take a break from talking if we can't get along, my husband was more outspoken in what he told our parents, and I'm quite happy he was. (Our parents talk to each other and compare notes as if we're children.) While he hasn't said that he disbelieves in Mormonism, he told them that he wonders why his family, in particular, has this sudden interest in more contact with him, when there have been times that they haven't talked for over six months, he says (I actually don't remember this). In other words, he doesn't appreciate the fact that their love and concern is apparently conditional. His dad was mad at him for not calling enough, and he said, "How often do I, as an adult, need to check in, Dad?"
He commented to his dad that he hasn't been there for him in the past (before he was worried that he might "lose his testimony" due to an apostate spouse), while he has for some of his siblings. When he commented on his father going to our nieces' and nephews' events and not our kids' events, he said that he has only been to their church-related events (which isn't true). But this was also disturbing because it suggests that his parents won't support our children in anything other than Mormon functions, which our kids won't be participating in.
I was also very proud of him for standing up for me. He called my mom and told her that she had no right to always act morose around me, that just because I believe differently I'm still her daughter, and I still have good qualities. He told her that she favors my brothers, etc. (I'm sure families in different religions have these issues, too.) He said that her behavior toward me wasn't "Christian." (While I might note that her behavior isn't too different from smiting a fig tree for not producing fruit in the off-season, he's talking about the "loving your neighbor" part, and no, Mormons often aren't "Christian" in this sense when someone leaves "the church.")
He also told her that it wasn't Christian for them to be gossiping about me, which she denies (but one thing that gossips don't realize is that those they gossip to often return it to the gossiped-about one, lol). He told my mother that she needs to grow up and "deal with it" (with my apostasy). She said things like, "What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to feel?" (justifying her constant crying around me) and "I did the best I could" (about how she raised me). He told her that maybe she should have done better, etc.
We had a very good conversation regarding his phone conversations, and he told me that he doesn't know how I grew up with my mother, etc. It has been SUCH a relief having him understand where I'm coming from. It was SO nice having him stick up for me to her. He told me that he's finally realized that we really don't need our parents in our lives if they're not going to support our decisions (regarding religion, staying married, etc.) I think it's definitely preferable to keep contact, though, if it's possible to do so amicably. (Any advice on this?) At some point, though, he's right in that you have to give up seeking emotional support from those who don't give it to you.
At one point in our lives, both of us really were looking for a lot of contact with our parents and support from them, etc. But it doesn't seem that that's what they wanted. When we visited my parents (which we often did when we lived in Rexburg) they acted anxious for us to go home. His parents were even less involved; when we told them what the gender of our first baby was going to be, they basically said, "That's nice. We have to go eat dinner now." It's been kind of traumatic for both of us, so it's almost a relief to be able to let go of trying to please them.
I told my husband that it's easy for me now since I know that nothing I do is ever going to please my parents. If I'm successful in my career, they'll call me worldly, etc. If I'm not, they'll say it's because I'm an apostate. If our kids are thriving, happy, doing well in school (which they are :)) they'll say those things aren't important and that it's a shame they're not being raised in "the gospel." If they ever have any problems, they'll attribute it to not being raised in Mormonism. So basically, I'll do whatever I want without worrying about their opinions, since I can't please them regardless, and this is quite freeing, really, as sad as it is.
This has been a good bonding experience for us, and I really feel myself falling in love with him all over again. While I don't think he's ready to swear off Mormonism, I'm starting to not care whether he does or not. I trust him to put our family first because he really has been, especially lately.
I told him that what's saddest to me about the situation with HIS parents is that they really don't seem to have any idea what a good father he is. I wish they could be appreciative of the fact that he changes diapers, reads countless stories to the kids, spends hours doing things like making Spiderman books. He told me that they wouldn't care, anyway. He is truly ten times the father either of our fathers were.
I really don't hold our parents responsible, though. They're just victims of Mormonism. They did the Mormon thing and had too many kids to really be able to emotionally (or financially, for that matter) be able to support all of them or even to be able to get to know them. Add to this all the time Mormonism requires from its followers, and you have a recipe for bad parenting.
It is truly a comfort, though, for me to be with someone who knows what this is like, and my husband does. It's also a comfort for us to be able to right the wrongs of the past in the only way we can--by not repeating the mistakes with our own children. My mom actually told my husband that she hopes that our kids tell us that we were bad parents (or something to that effect) at some point since that's what she's gone through. I think it's strange that she would be complaining that we don't talk to or see her enough while she makes it obvious that she wishes bad things for our future. He responding by saying that we're doing everything in our power to not let that happen by being good parents. And indeed, we put our kids first, not a cult.
My mom kept telling my husband, strangely, that I wanted to destroy the church: "Well, she wants to destroy the church; how am I supposed to feel?" Apparently she thinks that I posted something on here about protests or something. Maybe I said something about wanting to go to an exmo conference? (That's not a protest--for any of our family members who are spying here.) I don't want to destroy Mormonism, mostly because I have better things to do, lol. There are too many brainwashed people for that to be possible, anyway. Also, there's the issue of what would happen to believers, if, say, the GAs came out and admitted it was a scam. People like my mother couldn't cope, so why would I want to "destroy it" and have a bunch of crazy religionists running around? (I do realize that maybe they'd be perfectly fine without it, as I am.)
This month is my one-year anniversary from leaving the Morg, and it's been quite the ride. I'm glad that while I still like to read here sometimes, I'm becoming less and less concerned with Mormonism and that I've lost almost all my anger over it. And I'm actually not even an insomniac anymore; I'm just up late tonight because I'm sick.
I've also been trying not to bug my husband about Mormonism. (I did slip tonight and mention that there's a black hole at the center of the Milky Way instead of "Kolob" but no one's perfect.) I want to be able to give him the support that his family doesn't in the decisions he makes. It made me kind of sad to find out that his brother had told him that he'd come here to go to church with him, but then he never did. I told him I'd go to church with him if he wants; it wouldn't kill me, I suppose, lol.
Anyway, sorry this is so long; I thought that I should update my story with this happy/sad news. I also want to say that I am SO happy that my kids aren't having to deal with the guilt and lies I had to endure growing up. They seem much happier than I was.
Also, as usual, I should say thank you to the board members for your support. I love each and every one of you. This is my testimony, inthenameofjesuschristamen.
|Subject:||You sure are lucky....|
|Date:||Oct 17 04:27|
|You've got a caring, decent man for a husband that truly puts his
wife and family above all else - a real gem, as Ann Landers would say.
He obviously has his priorities in the right place. Ideally, this is how a marriage works - each partner loving and supporting the other.
Eventually, he'll come around. All roads lead to apostacy. :)
|Subject:||"All roads lead to apostacy"--LOL!... (longish, again)|
|Date:||Oct 17 05:18|
|Let's hope so! You're right; I really am lucky, though it's taken
awhile for me to realize it. Our relationship has certainly had its rocky times, but now I
realize that I'm even glad I was Mormon because I wouldn't have met and married him
I went through a bit of an exmormon adolescence upon leaving the Morg, which is apparently common, but fortunately I didn't become an alcoholic or anything like that (actually, I've had less than a dozen drinks in my life, lol), but I was really mean to him about Mormonism. We've both learned, though, to be mature about it, I think, and to accept each other's decisions.
I think I need to keep in mind, too, that he has been more brianwashed than me since he went on a mission and that being open-minded about Mormonism is even more work for him because of that and because his family was probably even more into it than mine. They literally see Mormonism as the only important thing in life. To illustrate, when my husband was in the last stages of writing his senior paper for a history major (which turned out to be a really good piece about the history of the civil rights movement in our area), his dad got very mad at him for not dropping his work to go hundreds and hundreds of miles away for our sister-in-law's baptism. Apparently his dad would have had no problem with him risking his graduation because "he needed to support sister-in-law." His parents didn't attend our graduation (we graduated with our bachelors' at the same time) or send a gift or anything. It's also apparent that his father doesn't place importance in anything besides religion because he calls my husband at work and disturbs him. My husband was not very happy to have his students coming in while his dad was arguing with him on the phone.
And to illustrate how my husband is opposite this (ie, he cares about accomplishments outside religion): I've been very ill for the past few days, so today he took the day off to help me with the kids and so I could work on my studies. I thought this was very sweet of him. He also went to our son's kindergarten parent-teacher conference and is obviously very proud of how he's doing (in the 100th percentile in all areas, I have to add ;)). I think that despite his (possibly) remaining belief in Mormonism, my husband lives in the real world, unlike so many TBMs. He can see how happy our kids are without religion.
Wow, I somehow went off again, lol. Writing about this stuff here is so therapeutic for me!
Oh, one more thing that I should have added to my original post (ok, two more things, lol): I think these problems with our Mormon families have made it really obvious to my husband that Mormonism wants to keep adults as children. He was truly disgusted that my sister and BIL told on me to the bishop; he says it reminds him of Naziism or something. (He doesn't like to use Communism as an example because he's so liberal, lol, but it reminds me of that, too.)
The second thing I wanted to comment on is that one thing that really offends Mormons is when you assert your right to privacy. When my husband and I were first married and lived in a little farmhouse, we'd sometimes stay home from church to have sex, lol, and the people from the ward would come around knocking at all our windows, all around our little house. Who knows what they might have seen!
Last Sunday, my parents came over without invitation or even calling beforehand, and mostly because they're mad at us and want something to complain and gossip about, and we just didn't answer. We weren't expecting them; I wasn't feeling well, etc. They went around our house, knocking at the other doors, as if we hadn't heard them. My mom was so mad about this, and it's actually what the father-in-law called about; "Why didn't you let your in-laws in?"
I commented to my husband that there's a pervasive Mormon custom of invading people's private space, whether it's through missionaries, visiting and home teachers, bishops, or people from the ward. I have had SO many people in the past seven years since I've been married basically stalk my husband and me. When we were at Ricks, if we didn't go to church (in a different ward, not the farmhouse one), people from the ward would practically knock our door down. I've had visiting teachers INSIST on coming over even though I was in the middle of a messy painting project: "Is there anything we can do for you?" "Yeah, don't come over." I've also had people come over after I had a baby and wasn't feeling well and insist that they see me, even though I didn't want to see anyone.
It's all very bizarre, but of course it makes sense that if you want to control people, you have to convince them that they have no rights, including privacy or property rights. But after being raised in very big families in houses that were always open to whomever, my husband and I are ready for some privacy in our own house!
Oh, one more thing I wanted to note, too. Here's a good idea for anyone who's trying to get out of a cult. My husband has been reading a lot of dystopias lately, and he's been commenting on the similar techniques they use to control people, etc. A utopia and dystopia class was actually one of my first big steps out of the Morg, so I'm hoping that this might help him see the light. Again, though, I don't want to be just another person in his life who's trying to control his decisions or who only values him if he believes the same way I do.
Wow, I'm really long-winded tonight, huh? Must be this damn fever! ;)
|Date:||Oct 17 05:50|
|That is a good idea. You can see common elements of manipulation in
Mormonism, 1984, Animal Farm and others. Also, one thing that opened my eyes was learning
the details about the cults like the Moonies, the Seventh Day Adventists and the JWs.
Mormons tend to just dismiss them as "deceived" people, without ever really
learning anything about them. But if you're a reasonably honest TBM, when you get to know
the people and practices of those faiths, the parallels are really too close for comfort.
As a TBM, you start to realize that people lump Mormons together with those groups for a
good reason, and if those people can all be "deceived" about their
"testimonies" and their "holy spirit" it could be that you and your
fellow TBMs are also deceived. Those people rush around doing busy work just like Mormons.
They follow their version of the Brethren just like Mormons. They have their silly
restrictions just like the Mormons. They even have their apostates, just like the Mormons.
Anyway, I'm glad to hear about your improving situation. It sounds like your husband can see through the Mormon bait and switch on "eternal families." It only makes sense to value an eternal family, if it means being able to spend eternity with specific people you love. (That's the bait and the reasonable appeal of eternal families.) But once they get you in, the Mormons subtly switch the premise by asserting that specific loved ones aren't so important. The only important thing to them is being part of an eternal family. That's why it seems like a lot of TBM spouses seem willing to abandon their apostate spouses. They don't see them as a specific, unique loved one with whom they want to spend as much time as possible. They just see them as an interchangeable part of a generic "Eternal Family" that they have been conditioned to value regardless of the identities of the members of that family.
I'm probably not making any sense. But hang in there. It sounds like you've got a good thing going.
|Subject:||Wow, I'd never thought of it that way:|
|Date:||Oct 17 07:33|
|Hobo Smith wrote:
"It only makes sense to value an eternal family, if it means being able to spend eternity with specific people you love. (That's the bait and the reasonable appeal of eternal families.) But once they get you in, the Mormons subtly switch the premise by asserting that specific loved ones aren't so important. The only important thing to them is being part of an eternal family. That's why it seems like a lot of TBM spouses seem willing to abandon their apostate spouses. They don't see them as a specific, unique loved one with whom they want to spend as much time as possible. They just see them as an interchangeable part of a generic "Eternal Family" that they have been conditioned to value regardless of the identities of the members of that family."
That's very insightful--thanks.
|Subject:||This reminds me of Islam|
|Date:||Oct 17 07:45|
|While I lived in Saudi Arabia, I saw a good many things. Your
comments on your family "telling on you" reminds me of similar events in Saudi.
I recall an event that happened where a grown son told the religious police(the matawa) on his mother. He felt she was not doing right in Islam. The police came over and threw a lot of threats out, including jail, and said that they would be watching her from then on. They then yelled at the husband for not doing his job keeping his wife in line. This lady had a facial allergy, or something like that, where the abaya rubbed on her face and hurt. She did not want to wear it. When a religion can get a son to tattle on a mother, there is definitely some huge abuse there.
|Subject:||That is great he is sticking up for you, that is half the battle there,|
|Date:||Oct 17 04:44|
|To be alone in the battle is awful. It is to bad Mormons can't see
how really awful they treat people they are supposed to love. I am glad I did not have a
Mormon Mom and Dad, it made it easier to leave. My one Mormon family member has given us
grief for 22 years since we left but has calmed down to a dull roar. We are in our 60's
now and he will never leave the church as it is his identity.
Keep telling your huband how much you appreciate his sticking up for you.
|Subject:||Good advice, Primrose....|
|Date:||Oct 17 05:29|
|I don't know how you lived through 22 years of Morg harrassment from
the one family member! It seems like SUCH a long time, you know? (sigh)
Yes, I do need to tell him I appreciate him sticking up for me; I know this has been VERY difficult for him, and really, a lot of our problems before were caused as much by me feeling alone in regard to my family situation as they were by religion.
It's funny you would say that I should keep telling him I appreciate it, because when he told me the story I said something to the effect of, "I bet you're glad you stood up for yourself," and he said, "I stood up for you, too!" LOL. I think that men, especially, like to feel appreciated for things like that.
Interesting about your family member whose identity is too interwoven in Mormonism for him to ever leave. I'm not sure if that's the case with my husband. I probably should be encouraged by the fact, though, that he says he wants to move far away, maybe to New England--far away from "Zion," at any rate. Maybe that's so his identity can be less tied up in it.
I should thank my husband, too, for originally giving me the courage to leave Mormonism. Here's an approximation of one of our convos when I started questioning:
Me: But can people raise good kids outside of Mormonism?
Him: Of course they can. I knew a ton of good kids growing up (in Calif.) who weren't Mormon. They did well in school, had good morals, etc.
Me: But if we leave Mormonism will our kids get harrassed at school?
Him: We just need to move away if you want to do that.
See? I should be very grateful to him for providing that initial support, even though he changed his mind about leaving just a couple days later. This is a hard thing to do, and people need to be able to do it on their own time, without a lot of outside pressure. I do think, though, that the main reason he changed his mind about leaving it was his worry about what our families would think. Now, though, he's realizing that he just doesn't have to base his life on that.
|Subject:||so heartening to read your posts, Aphrodite|
|Date:||Oct 17 05:57|
|your hubby sure loves you!
i smiled when i read: I really feel myself falling in love with him all
i'm very pleased for you and your family.
wishing you a speedy recovery from your illness.
|Subject:||Nice Post, thx|
|Date:||Oct 17 06:48|
|I also enjoy watching my son grow up without all the excess baggage that I had to deal with. Keep it up!|
|Subject:||Re: I am so proud of my husband for sticking up for himself.... (long)|
|Date:||Oct 17 07:29|
|Hey girl! You are on the right road here! Been there, done that and
it is the most freeing thing imaginable! Not only are you able to get out of a controlling
religion, but when you are able to separate emotionally from controlling and negative
family members you are truly free. I have done this with my husband's family and it has
been wonderful! We are a lot happier and they just don't know what to do! You will find
that very few are able to handle the "new you". Don't try to conform to them in
any way. The happier you are, the calmer you are the more they just can't understand it! I
went to visit my in-laws this summer and my sister in law commented, "Wow, this is
the happiest I've seen either of you!" Well...duuhhhhhh! No more Mormonism! Maybe
they should try it too!
Good luck. Perhaps your husband will eventually come around. I am very impressed with him siding with you and supporting you. Yea!
|Subject:||hang in there|
|Date:||Oct 17 08:58|
|My 2 cents worth. If you can figure out if you like each other independent of the church--take the church out of the picture and if you want to be with each other still--then you've got it made. Sounds to me like the answer is you like each other with or without the church. You'll make it. Hang in there.|
|Subject:||What a good guy|
|Date:||Oct 17 09:36|
|You're lucky to have him.
I could have written much of what you wrote about parents - even down to a mother that cries when she looks at our children. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You seem to have a good attitude. My in-laws were better than my parents, but they still said some things to the kids that they shouldn't have. The church solved our problem, at least temporarily - both set of parents are out of the country on Mo business. Maybe you could encourage your parents to do a mission - they might even see it as a way to help you in some strange way. Communication by email is much less stressful, and they like getting mail so much they will actually read what you have to say. It is fun to write and tell them how well we are doing, how happy the kids are, etc.
Congrats on your success. It sounds like your husband realizes he is a lucky guy to have you too. I hope things get even better for you two.
|Subject:||Re: I am so proud of my husband for sticking up for himself.... (long)|
|Date:||Oct 17 09:59|
|Great story. You both sound like honest people,good parents and
parents who love each other. (Hmmmm...I thought that was exactly what "the
church" teaches people to be.) Oh, well, just keep loving each other, loving your
kids and loving life in general. Also, see if you can enroll your parents in
"Parenting 101." I think they could use it.
I'm proud of both of you. Just try to be as nice to your parents as you can, and maybe, someday they'll grow up.
Best wishes to both of you!!!
|Subject:||Isn't it nice|
|Date:||Oct 17 10:07|
|to be loved just the way you are. I get that from my nevermo hubby
too;) I never got that growing up at home! It is a shame that we think that it is strange
someone could love us for just being ourselves.
When I realized that my hubby(to be at the time) loved me regardless of all my faults, quirks, etc.,etc., I couldn't believe it.
I had had so much manipulation and control all my life (until therapy) It was like breathing fresh air.
I think we both believe in being kind to each other and not saying things you can't take back.
Because, when someone (parents) is ranting, raving, crying, and throwing a hissy fit at you, it is really about them not you. It still hurts though when those cruel comments come spewing out.
I am very happy for you that your marriage is in tact after all you have gone through;) Kudos to your spouse!
|Subject:||Re: I am so proud of my husband for sticking up for himself.... (long)|
|Date:||Oct 17 10:35|
|Iam so glad things are working for you and your husband and I hope
they continue to get better. I was thinking about you the other day and wondering how
everything was going.
So very sorry about the parents. You and your husband just need to worry about yourselves and your children.
Hopefully your parents will wake up some day.
Get well soon.
|Subject:||I, too, think..|
|Date:||Oct 17 10:53|
|..your husband is a gem. Send him some flowers when he goes back to work.|
|Subject:||Aphrodite, your husband (Apollo?) is da bomb!|
|Date:||Oct 17 12:11|
|I have tremendous respect for him that he's able to stay somewhat a
believer in the Church and yet be able to place his family before it. Also, that he can
stand up to his and your parents like that.
I don't know what to say about your parents. My parents are the same way. It just makes you want to say, "Hello?? What happened to the family church?" It's amazing that they can't see that they're placing a church ahead of their own kids.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I think your husband rocks, and I hope I can be like him when my kids come along. Best of luck to you!
|Subject:||ot: girl in the box?|
|Date:||Oct 17 13:39|
|spouse archivable, do you think? a bit o' good news . . . : )|
|Subject:||it was long - but good reading|
|Date:||Oct 17 14:08|
|Your posts are meaningful because you have parents who have all of
the appearance of being great parents - yet they are not exactly. -- appearance meaning:
not in jail or divorced or having affairs -- but good middle class church going people.
The difficulty you have with them is subtle and not perceivable by many people -- so your relief (and joy) when your husband said: I don't know how you grew up with your mother -- I can relate to that.
The most significant idea for me in your post was that one has to stop seeking support from those who will not give it (i.e. without guilt and recriminations attached)
Thanks for posting a great story -- it's very good to know that life is looking more real for you.
|Subject:||THIS is love, this is family first -|
|Date:||Oct 17 14:33|
|thanks so very much for sharing this. It also shows the great amount of respect you two have for eachother. Please consider posting this over to the story BB where it will be more permanent. It will give soooo many others HOPE.|
|Subject:||This is happy news, dear, not sad.|
|Date:||Oct 17 15:55|
|I realize you consider it mixed because of your parents, but it
really is happy news because your husband has come to realize what really matters most.
I'm so glad to know that everything is well with you. (I don't see your posts very often, and the search doesn't bring you up even though I know you have a post here.)
And, hopefully, some day soon, your husband will realize that it's more fun to stay home and discuss the moral lessons of Spider-Man with the kids on Sunday than going to boring PriestCraft meeting. And staying in bed Sunday morning with you is better than going to some stupid cult meeting. And infinitely more fun.
And we love you, too.
|Subject:||Awww, thanks guys. I always feel the spirit here. ;) n/t|
|Date:||Oct 17 20:26|