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Posted by: june ( )
Date: November 17, 2019 09:00PM

Greetings... I will try to be brief and include the relevant details. Thank you in advance for your feedback.

My husband was raised in a Mormon family. He went on a mission, which was a positive experience for him. After his mission, we went to college, which is where we met. When I met my husband, he was active in the Mormon church, and he was very serous about it. About two years into college he had a huge break with his family. There were some incidents that suggested they do not actually believe in the religion. Several of his family members are in leadership positions in their wards. He was very distressed by the idea that they were not who he thought they were. He doesn't really express anger, but I interpreted his reaction as connected to the general idea of anger or betrayal.

The break was over a moral issue. But they were also taking all his money. He was constantly in debt to them for reasons that didn't make any sense to me. When he stopped talking with them, he was able to pay for things like tuition. So... in terms of financial survival, he really doesn't do well when he is with them.

After the break with his family, he left the Mormon church. He was lost for many years. I don't know how to explain it. Maybe some of you will know what I am talking about. Maybe heartbroken? His family didn't talk to him, and he didn't talk to his family, even though we lived in the same town. His family would pop up every year or so, and he would confront them about the incidents, then they would go away for a while.

My husband has the habit of repeating information to me as if he is giving a report. He used to give me a long report about every little detail of what happened during his day. I don't mean that he shared about his day. He would tell me in great detail every single thing he and people around him did and said as if he were reporting it to me. Over the years, the amount of reporting has decreased. I'm willing to listen to whatever he wants to talk about, but there is something about the reporting that I don't think is healthy. It's like he was trained in self-surveilance.

Over the years, my husband has tried to go to therapy. Therapy would actually make him worse, so he will stop going. I know that when people go to therapy that it is common for things to get more intense before they get better. But... I'm not sure if he wasn't being accurate with the therapists or if the therapists just didn't understand the family dynamics.

We lived in another city for a while, and he was able to go to therapy for a few months. The therapist had done an internship at BYU, so they seemed to really understand what he was talking about. My husband was doing really great with that therapist, but we had to move for work.

He keeps trying to find a therapist, but he will go to one and the person will not understand the dynamics.

Here is my question? Do you know how to find a therapist that understands all these dynamics?

I get a really good vibe from this board. I made a post last week, and people gave me some helpful feedback. Are there resources on this site that you recommend for him? Or online support groups? He is good with using technology.

Thank you so much for being here... I appreciate it.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: November 17, 2019 11:07PM

Oh boy. Lots to unpack here. You have made some very accurate observations. Always remember that mormonism is a cult/corporation. Personal boundaries are not taught. Not in the church and often not in families. This is one way they are able to control people. I believe this is what you are seeing in the "reporting". My guess is it was something he was required to do since childhood. It is good that it is lessening as time goes on. I wouldn't expect it to ever stop however. Too ingrained. Same for money. His money was theirs. Also ingrained is the inability to be angry. Contention is of the Devil. We were all taught that from the time we were very small. For instance, I was raised to never say that I hated anything, anyone. That is so not healthy. The fact that he can be angry at their hypocrisy is a healthy thing. There are many hypocrites in mormonism and the church is as an organization.

As you hang around here you will see new exmos come in and how lost they can be. Remember it IS a cult not a religion as most people think of a religion. Your Hubby being lost is the norm. It takes many years to rebuild that structure and when the family goes with it (as it often does) it is even harder. This is one reason there is the draw to reconnect with family. But unless other family members have done their own work they still don't have healthy boundaries. Hope for the best but don't put your heart on your sleeve and protect and maintain your own boundaries at all times. And that is wearing. Often mormons expect the entire world to conform to their expectations and wants. I am sure that we all hope that your SIL truly wants to forge a new relationship with her brother and with you. Just be sure to guard your boundaries.

When looking for a therapist, try to find someone that has some background in cults. I am sure others can give you more advice on this. And this is an online support group that has been running for.... I think 21 years this Thanksgiving. Eric started it in the hope that just ONE person would not feel alone. Your Hubby is very welcome here and there are folks that have been here a long time and can give advice. You can be anonymous, you don't even have to register. Let him know that people here do really care :)

PS - Hubby may find some value in reading things on the Biography Board.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/2019 11:09PM by Susan I/S.

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Posted by: june ( )
Date: November 29, 2019 05:41PM

Susan I/S, Thank you so much for your support and the helpful information! I have been hesitant to view the church as a cult. For a long time I struggling with concerns that I was being bigoted and intolerant.

I told my husband about this group, and I will recommend the biography board to him. He's been seeking out therapists with backgrounds related to spirituality, but I think that is part of the problem. This is not really about religious believes, but about abuse.

I am deeply grateful to have found this board, and you all, and THANKS TO ERIC for providing this amazing space for healing. I know that many, many people are benefiting from it.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: November 17, 2019 11:22PM

The place my "husband" works has EAP therapists where you go for 6 visits and if you need more help, they can refer you to other therapists. Well, my therapist was just moving to town at the time I had hit about 6 visits. That was YEARS ago. I had been to several therapists before that for a few visits each and none of them clicked. I'd go home thinking I didn't get any help. This guy has saved me. You have to try one therapist out at a time and go a few times, see if they are a good fit. I couldn't have done it without my therapist. I'm going through yet another situation that he is helping me with. I sometimes will go for a year or more without seeing him and then I need just one session and he always knows exactly what I'm looking for since he was mormon himself and he KNOWS ME.

The thing with mormonism and family is that you are supposed to be a forever family so you are always supposed to get along. Anger like I believe Susan said is against the belief system, so we were not supposed to argue with each other. And here we are in our 60s and 50s arguing with each other. And we are made to feel guilty if we aren't this forever loving family. Some people are toxic to our lives. I have a sister who is toxic to me who is 17 months older. She drives me nuts and did as a child. I had to be around her all the time in church and school. I only had 6th, 8th, and 12th grades without having her in the school and I "had to" hang around with her. She was my bully.

So the focus IS that you always have to get along with your family and you must always be working on having the perfect family. You see it on fb. People trying to prove they have the perfect family and get along all the time. One of my neighbors from childhood is making me "sick" right now with what they are posting. I KNOW the family too well. It is all a facade.

It is one thing if you can trust the other family members and another if you can't. It sounds like your husband can't trust them.

Anyway, finding a therapist takes time and work. If one isn't working, MOVE ON. Medical doctors are the same way. Not every doctor fits your needs, especially personality wise. Ask people you trust, friends, etc., if they've heard of someone.

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Posted by: june ( )
Date: November 29, 2019 05:54PM

Dear cl2, I am so sorry that you had to endure ongoing bullying. It's so sad to me that families will tear one another down and that adults will betray children.

These types of experiences are so toxic and create an atmosphere of fear and mistrust of those who we expect to protect us and to nurture us. We all deserve to be surrounded by people who we can trust and who support us.

I am so glad that you found someone who knows you. We all deserve to be seen and heard and known. Not only are you benefiting, but you are also choosing to contribute to the lives of others.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2019 03:22PM by june.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: November 29, 2019 10:33PM

I'm not very impressed with a few people here and am cutting back on posting.

My biological family has had a lot of drama in our lives. We have one brother who was disabled from birth. He had a stroke when he was born and then he drank paint thinner at 18 months and got hit by a pickup at age 5. My grandparents were both deaf on my mother's side (but were a great asset to our lives) and my older brother had a stroke at age 42 and he is now 66. He has a lot of deficits from his stroke. So we've had a lot of drama. BUT we all thought we were the dysfunctional family in the ward. We were never treated like mormon royalty, but I found out when I came to this board that we actually are mormon royalty--whatever that is. We had family in the Martin Handcart Company. Our last name is Christensen, which is a prominent mormon name, etc. When we grew up, we found out all the things the other mormon families were hiding and found out we are pretty normal compared to most mormons. AND we are all almost out of the church. My daughter happens to be the only grandchild/great grandchild who is mormon. The rest are out or never were baptized. I was one of the longest holdouts. I really believed I guess. I didn't want anything bad to happen to me and so I lived it as well as I humanly could.

Anyway, my therapist is an exmormon, too. I never knew that until I'd been seeing him for 6 years after my gay husband left me and I was really sure I didn't believe, so I asked him. He looks mormon, and so do I, so I picked up little clues here and there with things he said, so I finally asked. He is such a HUGE ASSET to me. I don't know how I would have made it this far without him.

I'd just like to say to all those college educated people on here who think you can't be "smart" without going to college--I just typed up a report by a doctor who for some reaosn couldn't remember which name the patient was--Will or Bill. A long report that I finally had to just put in "the patient" or there could be all kinds of problems with the outcome of this patient's history. AND she has how many years of college????? I'm a stupid person with only a year of college and I know better than to call the patient will or bill no matter what. His name is a foreign name, so this is his nickname and his name is NOT William. So, go figure. I save this doctor a lot of EMBARRASSMENT. Stupid me. Back to only checking in with the "edumacated" now and then.

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Posted by: loislane ( )
Date: November 30, 2019 02:27PM

Hi Cl2.

I am a mild mannered court reporter.

I share your frustration.

Just saying you have an ex-mormon sister out there.


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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: December 01, 2019 05:06PM

Leaving the Mormon cult can be a lonely experience and I don't think that some of what is lost when you leave ever gets replaced. But then again, moving out of your parents home and learning to build your own household is often difficult and yet normal. A part of being an adult includes having boundaries and thinking independently. This is inconsistent with Mormon culture and can be very difficult when you're not used to doing it. When a child realizes that there is no Santa Claus, the world is never quite the same from that point forward. We grow up. We can either go with it or we can fight it. But either way life moves forward. I try to give to those I love, what I know I need. I don't trust anyone in the church and for good reason. When the church expresses an interest in hearing my grievances (like when hell freezes over), I'll let them know why I would rather that Mormonism just disappear from the world and why I oppose their presence in my world for those who want to know any time the topic comes up. Until then, I try to ignore that the Mormon church exists. Hopefully your husband can get to that point or better. It takes time and effort.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 09:57AM

Good post

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