My wife wants to leave the Mormon church - I am a Believing Mormon
Subject: My wife wants to leave the church 
Date: Jan 28 18:42 2004
Author: CABeliever

I am posting to this site because I need the perspective of ex-Mormons in talking to my wife. She has basically lost her testimony of many things (early priesthood leaders, Book of Mormon, Temple, etc.) While this makes me sad, I still love her and want to be with her for the rest of my life. She feels that we should separate because she will never be able to make me happy in the sense that we won't be able to go to the temple together, go on a mission, etc. I realize I won't be able to do some of these things with her, but I would rather not do those things and have her than the alternative. Any suggestions? Can an active LDS person and an exmormon live in love and fulfillment?

Subject: Re: My wife wants to leave the church
Date: Jan 28 18:48
Author: 2 lazy 2 log in

From what I've seen, it seems that most of the time, it's the believer who has a problem continuing on in a relationship with a spouse who no longer believes. Since you don't seem to have a problem with it and you love her and say you would rather be with her even if she doesn't share your faith, I don't see why things couldn't work if you really try. You should really let your wife know that you still want to be with her and that you aren't going to try to force her back into the church.

Also, to get a better perspective on why she no longer believes, perhaps you should do a bit of study on your own. You may be surprised by what you find out.

Good luck.

Subject: Well, it really depends on the individuals and ...
Date: Jan 28 19:05
Author: Didymus

Here's some of the issues I faced:

Look, the Mormon Church takes up a lot of time and requires certain conditions that "mixed" couples find very hard. Financially - are you willing to not give your money to tithing if your wife feels that it is wrong? Remember even though you may be the main bread winner or the only person bringing home a salary, the assets and income are 50/50 in a partnership. Word of Wisdom - most people don't start smoking, but how will you view your wife if she brings home a bottle wine? or decides to stop by a Starbucks in the morning. Time - Church, positions take a lot of your time, what is your plans if your wife wants to spend it with you or friends going to a movie or spring cleaning or day trip/mini-vacation going to museums, parks, concerts. Fashion - I'm not sure how your wife plans to dress or wants you to dress. Traditional Gender Roles - ERA, Women's rights, treating your wife as an equal.
Unfortunately when people make drastic life changes they find that their friends and family are threads of a tapestry that they don't want to wear anymore. It's like doctors that have just graduated Medical isn't that they don't appreciate the wife who spent the time sending them through Medical School's just that their personality, intelligence and social circle has totally changed and they have nothing in common anymore. He can't talk about his day at the office and she can't complain about her job/customers because they just can't relate or communicate anymore.
Just try to communicate and work at relating to her beliefs now without scoffing or arguing or dwelling on how bad or evil she's become. Rather, enjoy her free agency and her new sense of purpose and life. You'll see how happy she is without having to spend time with gossiping Relief Society members or having to prepare primary lessons and how she'll try out new clothes and looks.

Subject: I was active for five years before I joined my husband in inactivity.
Date: Jan 28 19:14
Author: free

But I loved my husband and new he had a good heart. I did try to get him to go with me.

The problem I had was with the church, not my husband, during the years of inactivity. I was treated second-class. I hope you give her the freedom to not go because you love her.

Do you have children? This might be really tough too. How are you going to raise them?

Subject: Re: My wife wants to leave the church
Date: Jan 28 19:07
Author: Claire

That's what happened in our marriage. I fasted, prayed, studied for many years and finally realized the church is not what it claims to be. My high-priest husband listened as I shared my growing concerns, studied the history of the church by himself and came to the same conclusions. He was also glad to drop the financial burdens the church imposes and relishes the free time he now has. The marriage is great.

Subject: All marriages need compatibility and willingness to work out differences
Date: Jan 28 19:10
Author: Cheryl

Mormonism seems to brainwash members, including ex-members, into thinking they must share the exact same religious opinions with the person they marry. Both people have to give up that non-sensical thinking and learn to allow for differences for marriages to work.

None of us can like all of the same foods, colors, or activities. Neither can we always have identical opinions on religion. If either person assumes that spells disaster, it does. If they can love and let live, the marriage can be all the stronger for the differences.

I've seen differences work at times and spell disaster at other times. It depends on what people do with the differences that counts.

Good luck.

Subject: Q : Can an active LDS person and an exmormon live in love and fulfillment?
Date: Jan 28 19:14
Author: TheMollusk

A : Yes. If I were responsible for the creation of the universe, I'd rather have two of my creations live a happy life dictated by their love for each other rather than manuals and ceremonies.

As it is, I let my wife participate in her church activities, and she respects the fact that I no longer attend. We very rarely butt heads over doctrinal reasoning or eternal consequences (a small miracle in itself) at this point in time, as we feel we are doing quite well for ourselves. Trust me, if we can pull it off, many others can.

Subject: You've answered your own question.....
Date: Jan 28 19:23
Author: Randy J.

>She feels that we should separate because she will never be able to make me happy in the sense that we won't be able to go to the temple together, go on a mission, etc. I realize I won't be able to do some of these things with her, but I would rather not do those things and have her than the alternative. Any suggestions?

Yes. Do what you've written above. Leave the church, and keep your wife. You might be pleasantly surprised at how many fun, fulfilling things married couples can do together that don't involve churches, temples, or missions.

If it helps you any, my wife and I feel like our marriage never really began until we left the church together---and that was after spending 18 years in the church and having four children. Our relationship is better now than ever.

I suggest that you begin reading some of the many Ex-Mormon resources which will help you de-program yourself from Mormonthink. That will make your transition into your real life easier.

Subject: Thanks for your responses
Date: Jan 28 19:36
Author: CABeliever

I appreciate the responses. Some of them had very helpful things to say. Unfortunately a couple of the responses seemed to indicate that I needed to question my beliefs in order to maintain my relationship. I realize this is not a forum for me to share my testimony, but let me say that I've studied all the same things my wife has, have read many articles on this site and still believe in the Church and all that entails.

I think my wife's biggest concern is that she feels so guilty for not believing in something that has been such an integral part of her life since birth. She feels like she's betrayed me by starting a life with me with the idea of eternal marriage ,temple attendance and kids on missions, etc. and then not believing in the Church. She even told me last night that she loves me and wants to find a new wife for me, "Someone who will be all you deserve."

This is so hard. I love her with all my heart. I wish she still believed in the church, but I can accept her having different beliefs from me. I don't care if she doesn't go to church, I don't care if she decides to drink alcohol (as long as it's not in front of our kids), I just want her to be happy and hopefully that includes loving me.

Subject: Hmmm... That last statement makes my wheels start to spin...
Date: Jan 28 20:32
Author: Ginger Boy

You said its ok if she drinks alcohol, but not in front of your kids.

I am asking myself why its ok to do it, just as long as the kids aren't influenced?

Is it because alcohol is inherently evil, and your children shouldn't be exposed to evil?

Is it because you don't want to your wife to influence your children, making them think its ok to drink?

As a believer, you naturally want your children to be Mormon as well, so you want to shield them from their mother's hypothetical drinking? Why?

What about coffee? What about that second earring? What about the rated R movies? What about sleeveless dresses?

Would it be ok to see mom doing these things?

Will she be able to take the kids shopping on Sundays if they want to go?

If I were to guess, your wife wants a normal life. She probably hated Sundays for their dreariness. She probably wants to like normal people do, making decisions about her lifestyle, without someone telling her arbitrarily that its evil. And when she has her normal lifestyle, she probably doesn't want to have to hide it from you, or from the kids, or from family and friends.

To me, being a drinker, but not in front of the children, is deceiving the children. And to me deception is lying.

Anyway, I guess you should really think this through...its not often that the LDS wants to keep the marriage alive, but its a good sign that it could work out.

I guess my comments could be summed up similar to the above comments, you'd have to accept her nonbelief as well as she accepts your belief. If either party can't accept the beliefs of the other, then there will be big problems.

And you can't judge her by Mormon standards anymore, just the golden rule. Hopefully, you can let your kids appreciate her the same way.

Subject: Often, it's the other way around....
Date: Jan 28 21:05
Author: Perry Noid

The non-believing spouse is committed to the Marriage but not to Mormonism and the believing spouse wants to get out of a Marriage that isn't "eternal" (as defined by Mormonism).

I hope that in your case, your wife still does love you, but just wants to give you the option because she does feel guilty (although she shouldn't) for changing her mind about Mormonism after seeing more evidence.

It may help for you to open your mind also (yeah, I'm preaching exmoism here) to the possibility that the claims of Mormonism aren't really true. I once was at a point in my life where I thought I had a conviction that Mormonism was true. But upon deeper examination, I realized that it was only because I had been brought up to make such a deep social and emotional investment in Mormonism that I couldn't really see straight. Even though, objectively viewed, the doctrines, history and claims of Mormonism never really added up, I was accustomed to interpreting all experiences in the light most favorable to Mormonism and sweeping everything else under the carpet in my mind.

When I decided to give another perspective a chance, i.e., the perspective of looking at Mormonism with a heart wide open to the possibility that it wasn't what it claimed to be, I was surprised at how quickly everything made sense. The changing policies, the dubious doctrine of polygamy, the temple ceremonies that belonged in the context of a secret fraternity rather than in a house of sublime worship, the uninspired decisions of Mormon prophets, the healthy things (e.g., green tea, moderate wine drinking, etc.) that are mindlessly prohibited by a Word of Wisdom on steroids due to the fanaticism of Heber J. Grant, and so on. It all made sense, when viewed under the assumption that Mormonism is a man-made religion and the "Prophets" are just regular guys with a fancy title. (And it never made sense when viewed under the assumption that the Utah-based Mormon Church was divinely led as God's one and only completely true church on Earth.)

Although faithful Mormons will tell you that any doubts come from Satan, you must realize that this is the same logic that is used in every belief system to keep people in line. Truth can withstand scrutiny. Bad fiction cannot.

Maybe you can call a time out and ask your wife to give you both some time to adjust to this changed reality. If she's still insistent on getting out of the marriage, there may be more to it than a difference of opinion on Mormonism.

In any case, I hope it all works out for the best and please excuse my Exmo preaching.

Subject: Tell her you love her and want to stay together
Date: Jan 28 23:46
Author: Sophia

It sounds like you've got a good marriage, and you've got kids together. You're willing to let her be Mormon even though she doesn't want to be Mormon any more. Seems to me there is no problem. Tell her what you've told us--that it is fine with you if she doesn't believe or practice Mormonism, that you love her and you don't want to end your marriage. Tell her your kids deserve to have two parents who love each other, and that's what they have.

If the marriage ain't broke, don't fix it. And don't destroy it.

Subject: There are many Mo/Exmo couples out there.
Date: Jan 29 00:20
Author: theoldgirlinthebox

It's different for everyone. Here are some of the experiences of people who have posted here in the past:

Most of the posters were the Exmo in their relationship, but some of these posts were by those who were the Mo and had to deal with their spouse's change in beliefs.

I'd say the one big piece of advice I have from three years of watching Mo/Exmo couples struggle is this: talk to your spouse. Whatever issues you're having, whatever feelings you feel, whatever complaints you have -- TALK to your spouse. 99% of problems seem to arise from a simple lack of communication.

That's my one amateur little opinion, from a wife who was the Mo in a Mo/Never-Mo relationship. (I'm Exmo now though.)

Subject: Your kids should see her drinking alcohol in front of them, making her OWN decisions
Date: Jan 29 10:27
Author: AFNO

even if you don't want her to. She is able to approach them and help them understand why she wants to. You may need to release her in this, or you will be controlling too much.

Subject: A couple of possibilities.
Date: Jan 28 20:44
Author: Wag

Best case: She is projecting her feelings on to you. In other words, she is trying to anticipate what you are feeling or would feel and from the sound of it, she is not succeeding. When I went to my once-TBM wife and told her I was leaving the church she said, "Honey, I married you because I love you. Not because you're a member of the church." Those words really jolted me with the true meaning of the word, Love.

Bear in mind that when your wife leaves the church, it doesn't change the fact that she was indoctrinated by it to some extent. She may be feeling a little worthless and inadequate. It will be helpful for you to reassure her that you would, in truth, be more than willing to give up the extracurricular church activities than give up the marriage. Then, if she leaves you, it is her decision, not yours. And it won't be because of you. At that point, it will hurt but there isn't much you can do about it. I feel your pain, boss. I hope you can get through this.

I was in your wife's position long ago. My feelings had a slightly different twist: I was concerned that we had an arrangement and that I was no longer going to be able to fulfill my end of the bargain. But remember what I said. You didn't marry her because she is a Mormon. You married her because you love her.

For many years, my grandfather had a plaque in his office, obviously intended for my grandmother which said, "I don't love you because I need you, I need you because I love you." Very profound and it's a WHOLE different way of thinking about relationships. Different maturity levels and all that.

Worst case: She wants to play around, doing drugs, boinking other guys, etc. etc. but she can't do that while she is tied to YOU. Bummer, dude, if that is the case! If that IS the case, there is NOTHING you can do to change her mind. Even leaving the church would not save your marriage.

Seriously, this seems highly unlikely. The above is more likely the reality. ;-) My lightheartedness gets the best of me sometimes!


Subject: Re: My wife wants to leave the church
Date: Jan 28 20:45
Author: CLaire

Sounds like your wife is giving you the Mormon version of "you're to good for me". Is there someone else in the background??? Or is her self-confidence so damaged by the church that she is in a major depression?? Perhaps a few sessions with a neutral non-lds therapist would be a wise investment in order to get to the bottom of it all. Best wishes to both of you.

Subject: Put on your thinking cap instead of the bakers hat, and leave with her!!!
Date: Jan 28 21:27
Author: NotNow

Sounds like you have a very intelligent wife. Pull your head out of the Jell-O bowl and join her. Hold on to that gal!!!!

Subject: Re: Put on your thinking cap instead of the bakers hat, and leave with her!!!
Date: Jan 29 13:24
Author: CABeliever

That is the most hilarious reply I've ever seen. Good job, but I think I will keep the baker's hat.

Subject: You Want My Conclusions?
Date: Jan 28 21:28
Author: SL Cabbie

You're wife is smarter and more open-minded than you are.

You want to prove me wrong? Tell me your motives in coming here don't involve controlling her and the outcome of this event . . . hey, I was raised among Mormons, and I know the reason I try to control people is I can't deal with the feelings their behavior is creating in me . . .

What's that line from Theodore Roethke?

That woman would set sodden straw ablaze!

Talk a little about your frustrations and what you really hope to get from coming here, and you'll probably go further than by insisting you're going to hang onto that closed mind. Plus if you let go of the frustrations and fears, you might be able to see what people are saying here is the unvarnished truth, and all that spin about alternative realities is nice in junior level psychology discussions, but there's still such a thing as objective reality even if it has to be determined by committee.

Subject: Re: You Want My Conclusions?
Date: Jan 29 13:26
Author: CABeliever

Sorry pal, but my intentions in coming here are simply to try to see things from her point of view. If she never goes to another Sacrament meetings or starts drinking champagne and whine, I will still love her as much as the day I kneeled across the temple altar from her.

Subject: interesting response
Date: Jan 29 13:45
Author: then again

CABeliever wrote:
> Sorry pal, but my intentions in coming here are simply to try to see things from her point of view. If she never goes to another Sacrament meetings or starts drinking champagne and whine, I will still love her as much as the day I kneeled across the temple altar from her.

It's interesting you used "temple altar". You could have just as easily said some thing like "when we first met", or "When we first kissed". But no, you have used typical "lds think".

I really have to wonder which you love more, your wife or your church? I can easily guess which one your bishop would pick for you...

Subject: Re: interesting response
Date: Jan 29 13:48
Author: CABeliever

I purposely included the temple altar language to show dual thinking from both a believer standpoint and a nonbeliever standpoint. I'm trying to say that our relationship is based on us instead of a temple altar or drinking a forbidden (to me) substance.

Subject: Perhaps there is more going on here?
Date: Jan 28 21:49
Author: Sometime poster

If you two love and respect each other, there is no reason why you shouldn't remain married. But perhaps she wants to also 'live' the non-Mormon life which would be impossible without a little compromise. No, I don't mean immoral behavior, but things like tithing on only half of the household income. And her telling the kids of her beliefs as well as you tell them your views. For both of you to feel free to express yourselves and be yourselves.

When you said that you wouldn't mind if she drank wine, as long as the kids didn't see, that concerned me. There is nothing wrong with an occasional glass of wine with dinner, most the non-Muslim/Mormon world does this (& most of them are not alcoholics either) This statement indicated to me that you feel that it is OK for her to leave the church as long as she hides anything that Mormonism doesn't agree with, and that would be a problem. Do you want her to hide? Your marriage won't work if this is the case, perhaps this is what she is seeing? A lack of compromise and a unwillingness for you to accept her as herself?

And maybe that isn't the situation at all. (I was just using the wine question as an example, but it was a good one) Hopefully if you can accept each other's differences in belief and work it out.

Subject: Yes, you CAN stay together and make it work.
Date: Jan 28 22:07
Author: Langdon

>> Can an active LDS person and an exmormon live in love and fulfillment?

Me and my TBM wife. I've been post-Mormon for about 12-13 years. She is more devoutly TBM now than she ever was before I left.

And, occasional flare-up aside, our marriage has never been better than it is right now. You just have to agree NOT to talk about religious differences - the same way some couples who are on opposite ends of the political spectrum agree never to talk politics.

What is more important, your love for each other, or your religion/philosophy? You two each need to ask yourselves / each other that. In my house, we both answered "love".

Good luck.

Subject: This sounds like there is something else going on that has to do with the marriage
Date: Jan 28 23:06
Author: SusieQ#1

not Mormonism.

It sounds to me that your wife is telling you she wants out of the marriage and it is not just because she is not willing to accept Mormonism as her belief system.

I have a TBM hubby of over 40 years. He is a 5th generation Mormon, RM, and we married in the temple when I was a new convert.

Of course, it can work.

However, it is most likely you are going to have to let go of your demands and requirements. You are not going to be supported as a priesthood leader anymore. That is a gone.

If your wife feels you are going to dictate Mormon standards to her in any degree at all, she will find reasons to leave and it appears that she is laying the ground work for that now. Just the idea that she is telling you that you deserve more is a good sign that this situation needs a lot more exploration. Telling you she wants to find you a new wife is not something that comes up very often.;-)

That is how I read it anyhow!

Subject: That's a possibility I considered too.
Date: Jan 29 01:17
Author: Wag

However, not enough info was given to point very strongly at that.

Of course, I had to go off on some other FAR more ridiculous tangent! ;-)


Subject: I guess it depends on whether love is enough.... (long)
Date: Jan 29 03:26
Author: Aphrodite

I don't think the answer to that is the same for everyone or for every situation.

Your original post really touched me, partly because you're reacting to your wife's "apostasy" similar to the way my husband did to mine, and partly because you're reacting more how I wish he would! I wish he would have come here and asked for advice--I think that showed a lot of open-mindedness from you and is probably a good sign for your marriage.

This statement is what gives me hope for your marriage: "I realize I won't be able to do some of these things with her, but I would rather not do those things and have her than the alternative." In your mind, as a believer, you are giving up for her your chance at eternal life, and that is very moving.

I think many people (including many believing Mormons who talked to me about my departure from Mormonism) think that a fair and loving God would never separate two people who truly loved each other in an eternal afterlife. Think about it. If you were God, who would you reward? The people who would give up their own eternal happiness for each other or those who selfishly proclaimed, as many spouses of exmormons on this board do, that they'd rather have "eternal life" than life with their spouse?

I think that if you're willing to put your money where your mouth is, you might be able to pull through this with your marriage intact. (Of course, at least half of it is determined by your wife, and she might divorce you regardless.) When my husband and I went through this, he was willing to turn down all callings because part of the problem I had with Mormonism was it taking time away from our family. The bishop didn't have any problem with him doing this, but of course, the local leaders can vary widely. He also was willing to compromise on issues of tithing and of taking the kids to church. We never really agreed on these issues before he ended up leaving Mormonism himself a year later, but many couples can and do agree on fair situations.

Here are some ideas for compromise: Usually splitting half and half is a good solution. For instance, if you want to pay tithing on half the income, go for it. Most bishops consider this a full tithe, although some might not. If they have a problem with it, tell them it's between you and the Lord.

It also seems fair to have the kids go to church with you half the time and having them do something with their mom half the time, whether that means going to another church or going to do something fun or just staying home to hang out. What would be really good is if you stayed home with them half the time and maybe she could even go to church half the time so that you all stay together as a family. Of course, this might not be possible.

It definitely means that you BOTH have the opportunity to share your beliefs with the children. Either both of you share your ideas on religion and appropriate lifestyles or neither of you do. I'm sure you realize that it wouldn't be fair for her to have to hide her beliefs from the kids (including the belief that moderate or social drinking is ok) but for you not to. (Keep in mind that she might have moral problems with some beliefs of the church, including the temple, etc., but she probably doesn't require you to keep those aspects of your beliefs away from the kids.)

I'd be a little worried that she's saying that she wants to find a new wife for you. I know that when I was saying things like that to my husband, I was as good as out the door.

Part of the difficulty for Mormon couples where one or both start seeing things differently (yes, this can be a problem even where BOTH are exmos) is that Mormonism gave you something big in common. Now that is gone, and your relationship will have to stand on its own. We all know how the LDS Church teaches that any two members can have a happy marriage, etc., and not a lot of emphasis is necessarily put on finding the right person. Hopefully your dating and engagement wasn't as short as most Mormon couples--my own was only a few months before we were married. You need to talk to your wife candidly about this.

You say that she says that she wants you to be able to have someone you can fulfill your religious-based dreams with (which shows that she's very unselfish or that she just wants out, or both?), but how does she feel about you as a husband now? Is there enough there without you having religion in common? The upside to this problem, though, is that if there's not enough there now, you can always develop your relationship so that there eventually is if you're both willing to give it time.

This was a big question I had about my marriage. It was shocking to me to find out that the circumstances under which I had decided to marry were totally fraudulent. (I know that your opinion differs from this, but this is probably where your wife is coming from, too.) I got married partly because the prophet expected me to and because you had to get married to go to the Celestial Kingdom, etc.

I had to decide if I loved my husband for who he was. Fortunately, after a couple years I realized that I actually really lucked out as far as who I married. I was young and had no idea what I was doing, but I ended up with a great husband and father to my kids. I don't know, though, that I'd feel the same way if my hubby hadn't eventually left Mormonism.

It does sound a little like you're just looking at one side of the equation--whether you're willing to accept your wife now that her belief has changed. Maybe you can accept her without garments, etc., but can she accept you WITH garments? (Some women really don't like what the garments come to mean to them after reading about polygamy, etc., and don't like seeing them on their husbands. I didn't.)

You also need to be aware of what we call around here the exmormon adolescence. After leaving such a well-defined and structured belief system (yes, I'm trying to use euphemisms to be respectful of the fact that you're still a believer ;)) many formerly believing Mormons find themselves going through what most people go through during adolescence.

Your wife is going to need some time to work through this--she has to develop her own values and morals rather than simply following the prophet. She needs your patience and love while she goes through this difficult time. Know it will end, lol. I'm very glad my husband put up with my ups and downs during year-and-a-half or so after I left.
It will probably be a big emotional roller coaster for both of you. Are you willing to go through that?

Another issue you need to consider is how you will be treated as a part-member family. I think my husband was quite put off by this. You might go through all kinds of experiences that you wouldn't have to deal with if you had a believing wife or if you simply left your wife after she changed her beliefs. My husband had to deal with the bishop telling him to pray that something really terrible would happen to me so that I'd see the light again and with his dad and others telling him to "be the patriarch" and get me to come back. (I imagine this involves the modern equivalent of the caveman's hair-pulling, lol.)

It sounds like you have realized that your wife has left for valid reasons and is not going to simply "regain a testimony" and change her mind. Are you willing to put up with the reactions you'll get from the local ward members? My husband's bishop was giving him lawyers' numbers and counseling him to divorce me. You might have a lot of pressure like this, again depending on your local leadership.

Anyway, this is becoming a novel, but let me add that I think you both should probably try giving the marriage some time. It takes time to adjust to such a new situation; don't try to make any major decisions (as far as divorcing) for at least the first year.

I'd better go see if I can fall back asleep.

Thanks for coming and asking our opinions--it's so refreshing to hear the other side of this. As others mentioned, we're usually hearing the side of the exMormon. Please also invite your wife to come here and talk. She probably really needs the support.

Sending good thoughts your way.

Subject: The Best Posting I've Ever Seen
Date: Jan 29 13:37
Author: CABeliever


That reply was one of the most inspiring and well-written posts I've ever seen. You addressed every aspect of my forthcoming experience with respect, poise and wisdom. Know that I am a TBM that knows that there are exmormons out there that contribute to this life more than most members. Thank you and God Bless.

Subject: Ahhh, you're a real sweetie....
Date: Jan 29 14:28
Author: Aphrodite

Thanks for saying that. Unfortunately, although I was extremely long-winded last night, I'm afraid that there will be even more issues that come up that neither of you have thought of yet. Please do keep us posted on how everything is going and get some more input from those who have been there. Why learn the hard way?

Speaking of respect, poise and wisdom, it sounds like you and your wife are getting off to a MUCH better start than my husband and I did. I regularly called him "brainwashed" while he informed me that I was going to hell, lol. I would do things like donate all the kids' church clothes so they wouldn't go to church while he was complaining to MY family about me. We both (especially me) were extremely childish about the whole thing. The only reason I can laugh about this now is that we made it through ok, just barely. Still, DON'T do what we did. Like Cheryl and others pointed out, you can love each other without having the same beliefs.

Best wishes. :)

Subject: Re: Did you ever stop to consider your...
Date: Jan 29 10:46
Author: SD

wife might be right about the Church? It sounds to me like it's time for you to do an integrity check. If you love your wife more than Mormonism, things will work out, although I'd wager the Church(tm) is going to make that hard for you.

Subject: Re: My wife wants to leave the churchAs
Date: Jan 29 10:57
Author: Gaea

As a TBM if I had to make a choice between the church and my mate I'd chose the mate and figure the Lord will take care of the rest eventually. These people who ruin their marriages because of religion are nuts.

Subject: When I was in this situation
Date: Jan 29 14:23
Author: on the way out

When I first got married my husband was a controlling priesthood holder. I stayed for years because I of my temple covenant and the kids. About three years before I found out about the church we went to counseling. My husband pulled his head out and changed a whole lot.

I can honestly say that if that had not happened and I had discovered what I now know about the LDS church I would have left him in a heartbeat. Staying married to a controlling male priesthood holder once I realized the temple was a sham would have NEVER HAPPENED. I didn't want to drink, nothing in my behavior really changed all that much except I ditched the garments and I started to get my children out of the church. What did change is that I no longer wanted to be controlled by someone who was self righteous and wanted to be the "patriarch" of our home. I am grateful to this day that my husband went through the difficult changing process he did before I found out what a liar Joseph Smith and the whole lot were.

BTW my husband left with me and we have an incredible marriage now. He looks back with remorse at how he treated me. My recommendation is that you seriously think about why you want to understand your wife and how the church has influenced how you treat her.

also maybe you should suggest that she post here and get some support. Maybe you two should seek counseling from a nonmormon trained and highly qualified professional.

This will be a big transition for both of you.

Subject: Read the two documents at these links...
Date: Jan 29 14:47
Author: hr

and see what you think. The author served an LDS Mission, five years as a Bishop, then served as Stake President. This is excellent material for anyone connected to the Church to read.

Subject: Keep your eyes wide open...
Date: Jan 29 15:06
Author: aflak

my ex-wife starting talking like that, ie, 'I want to help you find someone that you deserve' a short time before I discovered she was having an affair with my buddy.

I'm not saying that is your situation but if she's hinting at divorce be sure you know the true motivation. I got hurt big-time because I was so naive, a trait common in young TBMs.

Good luck

Subject: Yes! It's possible! And you sound like a wonderful husband.
Date: Jan 29 15:16
Author: Elizabeth

Hang in there. Love her, let her know how happy you are with her just the way she is. Establish an open, honest and respectful dialogue between the two of you if you want to share your different beliefs. And go on lots of dates with one another. My advice to her is, don't expect your husband to leave with you. Instead, look at how each other's beliefs make you unique, wonderful individuals. That may sound sappy but it's the only way I can think to put it.
Good luck and hang in there.

Subject: Have you talked to her? I mean REALLY talked to her?
Date: Jan 29 17:32
Author: Jim Smith

I am going to answer this by giving you what I consider to be God's ideas about marriage expressed by Jesus Christ.
In Matthew 19, the Pharisees were trying to trip Jesus up in his teaching by asking about marriage. Jesus told them that God created humans male and female and for that reason they come together and form a family.

Talk to your wife about her feelings and beliefs about the church. I mean really TALK to her. Don't try to change her attitudes, but rather understand them. Tell her that it was God and your mutual love that brought you together, not the church. Whatever you do, don't tell her why you have a testimony of mything, that will drive her away because she will see it as trying to convert her back.

My wife and I left the church together, but we happened to come to the decision independently at pretty much the same time. She beat me to it, but never tried to convince me, but was ready to help me when I started having my own doubts.

You and your wife stand at a fork in the road, you may each take a different path, but the paths are parallel and close enough that you can reach out and still hold hands. Her lack of belief does not make her a bad person. In mine and my wife's case, it has made us better people, because rather than be slaves to the church and do good things because they tell us to, we now do it out of our heartfelt desire to help others, and we do it without expecting them to listen to our "spiritual thoughts" afterwards, something for which I am sure they would be forever grateful for if they knew.

Subject: Dear CAbeliever,
Date: Jan 29 18:50
Author: Not me today

There have been so many great replies that I doubt I can really add anything to help in your situation.

But, there were several things that you said in your original post and in follow-ups that made me think about what is going on here.

Being a private detective for many years, I have heard your story countless times before. The excuses from the spouse wanting out range from religion, family, money, age differences to sexual orientation. But more often than not, the real reason almost always ends up being that the spouse who wants out for one reason. And that, of course, is that there is someone else in the picture. Have you considered this possibility? Her wanting out of the church may just be a cover not to hurt you by you discovering her other life (or desired other life). She may feel guilty and hence her offer to find you another wife.

She may not be having an affair, per se, but may be contemplating one with an old flame or maybe just wants to get out of her strict upbringing and experience things the thinks she may be missing.

I may be completely off base but you should consider this as part of the big picture. If this isnít the case, and it is a difference of opinion her beliefs, then I say you have a good chance to save the marriage. See a good marriage counselor (not your bishop) and maybe you will be able to get somewhere.

I do feel for you and know what you must be going through. I hope that you are able to work things out with your wife even if you still believe and she doesnít. Good luck with everything and God bless.

Subject: Re: My wife wants to leave the church
Date: Jan 29 19:46
Author: Anon

Some years ago I was serious about finding a new wife for my husband and leaving the marriage. The reason was that I was plain sick of Mormonism and what it was doing to us and I saw no other way out. It had turned my husband into a robot and I could not take the church demands any more. Of course, there was also another guy I was going to walk into the sunset with. The attraction was that he was a nevermo and did not carry all this familysh-t emotional baggage, saw no reason for religion and behaved like a normal man. Mostly, I just wanted to get out of an intolerable situation. My husband and I managed to work it out though and save the marriage, mainly because he dropped this interfering church involvement and we concentrated on us by doing simple fun things together. I saw that my husband really tried and that's what made the difference. It's a good marriage now but something had to give or I would have gone crazy. We don't go to church anymore, my husband gave up the church I gave up the other guy. Sometimes in the middle of the night my phone rings and I know who is calling and hanging up but I made the right decision by staying. Nobody in the church ever knew what happened with us.

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