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Posted by: BJClarke ( )
Date: March 03, 2019 10:21PM

I have recently learned some things that I cannot ignore and I can no longer believe in the lds church. The problem is I am married (temple marriage) to a very devout man who will not leave the church, and we have four children. Leaving the church would hurt so many people and it would tear our family apart. I don't know what to do. I am so conflicted. Do I continue in the church, so that my family stays together, happy and secure? But I am suffering? (also I am the primary president and the only pianist in the branch, me not attending any longer would be noticed by every single person).
I have also had many legitimate spiritual experiences in my association with the church. Even though I can no longer believe in it fully, I can't hate it as others do. But I feel as if my heart is being torn in half.
Is there anyone else who has been through a similar situation? Please help me.

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 03, 2019 10:36PM

Hello and glad you have come to the board. My situation is not similar but I’m sure some on the board will have similar backgrounds. Welcome.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: March 03, 2019 10:44PM

There is no rush to resolve this. There are people who stay and just do what parts work for them.

Over time, your husband may study if given the information. There are people who manage to work it out if their spouse is devout.

My husband waited 10 years for me to question and see through it.

Only you know the dynamics of your family.

Whenever possible, do things as a family on a Sunday together like going on a picnic instead of going to church. When everyone sees the family really is more important than the church, they will see your views do not make you a bad person.

I do not know how much your husband knows about your feelings. I hope he can respect your feelings.

If possible, read In Sacred Loneliness by Compton with your husband. Compton is a member in good standing. Tell your husband you want his opinion as a man regarding exactly what JS was doing with all those women. Take it slow and enjoy the options you have on your own terms.

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Posted by: Topper ( )
Date: March 03, 2019 11:59PM

How devout are your children? Quietly feel them out and start planting little seeds if you notice that they are receptive to your ideas.

How much do you love your husband? Be truthful with yourself. Would he choose the church over you? That will help you determine the path to take.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: March 04, 2019 12:14AM

Most of us exmormons look back and think, "I should have left long before I did." But that is hindsight. I didn't know that the Mormons were abusing my children! My little ones were threatened not to tell anyone. I, too, played the piano, and also the organ, so I was needed. I also had another calling, as Cub Scout den mother.

Like someone here suggested, I stayed in the cult to please my parents and in-laws, and chose to ignore JS and all his lies and misdemeanors. I read the BOM of 7 times, and never believed it. I wanted my marriage to work, and my family to stay together, so I kept my mouth shut. I was very unhappy on Sundays and with trying to make friends with people with weird superstitions and skewed morals, and cruel, authoritarian methods of raising children. Church was the only bad thing in our life. I loved volunteering in the children's schools, and sports teams, and playing the piano for school programs, etc--but disliked playing for the Mormon church. The whole vibe of the place was negative and oppressive. Three hours of me thinking, "Get. us. Out. Of. Here."

I guess you can be patient, and wait for something to happen, like I did. Pray to God that what happens is NOT having Mormon leaders break into your house and kick and shove and slap your children around, and force them to go to church, when they were too tired and ill to attend. Pray that the bishop's creepy oldest son doesn't try to molest your little girl in her sleeping bag during a church campout. And when something does happen, pray that your children will not cave in to the threats, and cower into silence, until several years later. When my children finally did tell me, I immediately said, "We don't ever have to go there again." We didn't.

My husband confessed that he had not believed, since our wedding. He was afraid of his TBM mother, and rightly so! She was a hysterical fanatic, and would grab her heart, and scream for her husband, and start to faint, if anyone said anything at all negative about her cult. When we left, my cowardly husband blamed ME for everything, and she set about to break up our marriage. She and my FIL didn't care about our children. It was a dysfunctional Mormon family, without love.

My husband and I left, with the children, and my MIL continued on to outlive everyone else. My husband's father committed suicide, and my MIL became well enough to drive, and take care of herself--it was a miracle. She did not faint when her other son left the cult, and when most of her other grandchildren left the cult.

Yes, you could wait, until several of your husband's family members, and/or some of your TBM friends leave--and escape as a group. There's safety in numbers. It's much harder being the first one in your family to leave.

Be patient...your successful, and easy escape is just around the corner. By "easy", I mean your husband and family will probably adjust to you. But, there's no way the evil cult is going to make it easy for you! Just don't allow them to intimidate and bully you! Get a police restraining order, if necessary. Threaten to sue them for slander. I had to kick Mormons out of my house several times, yelling, "Put my child down!"
or "Stop shoving my child! "You are trespassing and attacking my children! I'm calling the police!" They always ran out the door, before I could get the police on the phone. My children witnessed these altercations, and were proud of my courage, and it only made us closer as a family. It also made me SURE that leaving that horrible cult was the right thing to do. My case was extreme, and for you, it might be easier. For me, my husband and my TBM parents understood and supported us. There's no way you can predict the future, or exactly how things will turn out--but there comes a time when you must do what you must do.

Good luck to you. Have courage!

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 04, 2019 12:34AM

You're finding yourself outgrowing mentally and spiritually the vacuum and cult that is Mormonism.

It is a dangerous mind trap once you recognize it for what it is.

You can't stay and not be the same as you were before. However you decide it is going to have lasting repercussions on you and your family.

Ask yourself how honest are you? Can you live a lie? I could not. Once I realized how utterly fake it was and wasn't meeting my needs or my children's, it was doing us more harm than it was good. How could I in good conscience want my children to believe in something that I knew to be false?

To keep the peace in your marriage is where you will need compromise if it's going to last, unless your husband gets on board with you. Sometimes they do. Often times they don't. It's a coin toss.

I was a single mom when I left TSCC. My ex-husband wasn't LDS. I doubt it would've mattered, but ironically it was the church that may have led me to marrying him when I did and that led to our breakup. As an ex-Mormon it was a decision I was able to make for myself. Plus I was discriminated for being a single mom at church and a young divorcee. I may as well have been wearing a Scarlet Letter, because the married women look at us with suspicion especially when their husbands tend to have roving eyes and think we're easy prey. Even when we aren't.

I wasn't attracted to Mormon men in the first place. Nor married men. In a cult that believes in polygamy, the men embrace it with all their hearts. Our last ward I had to watch while the old horny bishop ogled my daughter who was just a teenager at the time because she was so pretty and his wife an old dried up prune. He had the hots for her and it showed. It made me sick to my stomach. Damned perv. He would love polygamy if only he could get away with it. He and his wife were among the chief reason/s we resigned when we did. Besides my outgrowing the religion and waking up to its being a cult.

Once that sunk in (it took long enough!) I was out, and so were my children.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: March 04, 2019 05:42AM

You’ll notice it referred to as a cult here. See how they treat you when you leave and then decide if that’s the right term.

The spiritual experiences are based of faith, not because of anything factual. That’s an important distinction. You can have non-toxic spirituality lots of other places, or just out in nature if you’ve been turned off to religion.

Mormonism is a parasite on a religious structure that has stood the test of time. Is that structure made up? Most structures are, but the principles they teach aren’t something you have time to discover on your own. But at some point, you should be old enough to see the forest for the trees.

It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it. Recovery is a long process because as you decompress, you realize how much they messed up your head and get angry all over again. You learn to love yourself, so more anger. They did that to me? Things will percolate to the surface over a period of years.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: March 04, 2019 10:28AM

I dearly wish there was an easy answer for those who are mired in mormonism and are afaid of losing their kids and spouse if they admit the truth.

Sadly, everyone must face this as best they can. I can only suggest starting now to hint at problems in the church. Be careful not to be overly confrontational. If your spouse has issues, start with those. Many mormons might be bothered by polygamy or abuse of power in the church. Try to get your spouse to talk about whatever might bother him and he hopefully will eventually see his way clear to leave.

I don't think it works to totally fake it forever. In time doing that can eat a person alive.

Try to plan occasional Sunday outings which preclude church. Every moment spent at church tends to deepen the brain washing. Sometime missing church helps clear the brain a bit.

You don't owe relatives or friends explanations. The only people you need to worry about are your own children and your husband. Everyone else must fend for themselves even if they write you off.

Try to make friends with nonmormons and help your children do the same. You don't want their entire social network to be dependent on the mormon church.

Good luck.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: March 04, 2019 12:56PM

Sage advice. I'm mired in Mormonism and have been for going on 2 decades since losing my Mormonism.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: March 04, 2019 12:48PM

Me too, but it was a train wreck for me. As Spock used to say to Captain Kirk, “Brace for impact”.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 04, 2019 01:20PM

Once you find yourself outside the cocoon there is no turning back. Butterflies gots to fly. We were meant to be free.

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Posted by: Darren Steers ( )
Date: March 04, 2019 01:00PM

Once you have got to the point of realization you have, my only advice would be to take it slow.

Maybe ask thought provoking questions about difficult issues the Mormon church faces, but don't commit to showing your hand in any conversation on the subject. Feel out your children for issues they care about, and feel out your husband to see if he has any shelf items of his own that might be a subject for a deeper discussion.

It's my experience that many seemingly devout Mormons have a serious shelf item or two on their shelves that they simply are trying to ignore and to not go any deeper into because subconsciously they know it is going to show the church has significant problems. Finding it without coming out as a follower of Satan is trick.

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Posted by: alyssum ( )
Date: March 04, 2019 02:40PM

My husband figured it out first, and it was so hard for me. I was afraid our marriage was over. But I saw that instead, the more he lived true to his beliefs, the nicer of a person he became, and our marriage actually improved. So I decided that I wouldn't try to get him to go back to church; I would just keep going on my own. But that didn't last for long. We had so many conversations and I started to remember and consider the shelf of doubts I'd shoved out of my mind for so many years.

Don't give up on your husband; he might come around, especially if he sees you becoming happier. Both my husband and I were about as orthodox as you can get, served missions, worked in the Temple, church callings, etc etc. It took about 5 years of him waiting for me to come around but we left together. I am so grateful that I can be honest with my kids whenever they have questions.

I have had many meaningful spiritual experiences too, but I realize now that I can keep those experiences without the church. The church tells you that it owns your experiences, that any good experience you have supports the church, and any negative one is of the devil. But that's not true, any more than it is of a dream. A spiritual experience is 100% personal and for you alone to interpret. I also realize that I can work myself into a state of religious fervor and create bogus experiences that the church wants me to have. I can let those go without really losing anything but a delusion.

As a missionary I used to tell people that they should bring all the good they had in their lives and see if the church could add to it. Now I see it the other way-- I can take whatever may have been good in the church and move on to find other good things. I am no longer stuck in a box. The church does not have a monopoly on goodness, and many of their "good" things are less good that what you can find elsewhere. Don't be afraid to look, because you will definitely find some things worth looking for. You will have more spiritual experiences, you will find joy and want to share it with your family.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2019 02:48PM by alyssum.

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Posted by: BJClarke ( )
Date: March 04, 2019 04:28PM

Original poster here
Thanks so much everyone for your replies. I appreciate them all so much. This is so new for me and I feel like my world is crumbling around me. But I also feel so free.
I talked to my husband for a long time last night. He still has faith, but he also has many problems with the church and is willing to go with me. I'm excited that my children will be raised free (as they are all still rather young). Two have been baptised but I will carefully try to undo what has been done.
I feel like I just walked out of a dark cave and am blinking in the light. I can hardly realize that it has been lies that I have been so faithfully believing in my whole life. It makes me sick and angry and heartbroken.
Thank you again.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: March 04, 2019 04:42PM

BJClarke Wrote:
> I feel like I just walked out of a dark cave and
> am blinking in the light.

Such a good analogy! Good luck and congrats!

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: March 04, 2019 04:54PM

That is the best possible news, BJ! It could not have gone better. In time, if you are interested in resigning your membership, complete directions for how to do so can be found here:

For the most part, resigning your family should take away most or all of the harassment to which exmos can be subjected. If you don't, church members will definitely be coming after your children. Just something to consider for when you are ready.

I am so excited for you!

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Posted by: anon for this ( )
Date: March 04, 2019 05:03PM

That's great news. When both spouses have belief issues, and each is afraid to speak honestly because they both think the other will want to divorce, and feel forced to stay in for years as a result, that's as sure a sign as any that they are mired in an evil cult.

God damn I hate the church for what it does to people.

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Posted by: bezoar ( )
Date: March 06, 2019 03:37PM

Please be patient with yourself, your husband, and your kids as you exit. For me, leaving the church was obvious. I'm gay and hated myself based on what the church said about people like me. Long story short I decided I either had to get more serious with the suicide attempts or leave mormonism behind. Best decision I ever made.

The hardest part for me was the huge void in my life that used to be filled by mormonism. So much of my time had been scheduled by Mormonism. I didn't know what to do with myself once it was gone. I was so used to my opinions and beliefs being based, at least partly, on what Mormonism taught. I felt totally adrift on my own.

But don't worry, it all will come. Now I know for a fact that any opinions I have are mine and mine alone. It was scary there for a while, but I was able to figure out who I really am as a person.

Things will be difficult for a while, but you're going to end up being much happier than you ever thought possible as a Mormon.

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Posted by: icanseethelight ( )
Date: March 05, 2019 02:31PM

slowly and take your husband with you. Introduce him to the essays on let him take the lead.

Good luck.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: March 06, 2019 02:55PM

It is a shocking and difficult read.

As for spiritual experiences. I still have them. My mother actually said to me, after she knew I wasn't going back, "You can be spiritual and not be any religion." I just don't base my premonitions and feelings on mormonism. They are mine--my own.

Do I hate mormonism? Probably. You might come to a point in your healing that you feel the same. Sometimes I just don't care about them until your daughter gets married in the temple and how difficult it was to even be outside the temple for pictures. I'll never set foot on temple grounds again.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/06/2019 02:56PM by cl2.

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Posted by: gettinreal ( )
Date: March 07, 2019 10:51AM

I was able to hide my disbelief for years because I had a job that required I work on Sunday. Once my now EX-wife was made aware of my non-belief we were able to manage a compromise for about 6 years. Slowly her circle of friends convinced her to divorce me.

What had been working for so long suddenly wasn't anymore. She found reasons not related to my non-belief for her decision to leave. Some were true, tho incredibly minor and not worthy of abandoning a nearly 20 year marriage...the rest was made up in her mind.

I don't personally know of anyone who has left the church and had their marriage survive. It certainly can happen, but I don't know of any. I thought mine could... I was obviously wrong.

I remember advice my father gave me once. To thine own self be true. I think that is solid advice.
Good luck with your journey and whatever path you choose for yourself.

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Posted by: iflewover ( )
Date: March 08, 2019 07:22PM

Mormons are much nicer to and accepting of those who slowly drift away. They hold out hope for your return.

Condition your friends and family slowly over time and it won't be a major blow to their belief system when you stop coming entirely.

I kept most of my circle of friends and family via this route.

As others have said, It won't be easy, but it will be so worth it.

Living an authentic life is truly freedom.

Best wishes! You've got this.

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