Consistently Confused

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Kalikala
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Consistently Confused

Post by Kalikala » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:18 am

Hello.

I'm IT_Veteran's wife.

I've been lurking for a while, and I stalk my husband daily. He's my favorite.

I've been doing a lot of research lately and my shelf is pretty heavy. I'm unsure whether I want to tear it down or sure it up. My husband has been disaffected for a couple of months, and I know that he'd love to see me tear it down. But he's being patient with me and letting me move at my own pace. Turns out I've never been a very orthodox Mormon, something I didn't really realize until I started doing research. My views are kind of my own and only line up with church teachings here and there. I grew up in the church, in the Salt Lake Valley, so the church has always been my tribe. And despite everything, I love my tribe.

I have issues I'm angry about and issues I'm confused about and hubby said that this would be a good place to talk about some of them. So here I am.
"The opposite of Faith is not Doubt, it's Certainty." ~ Anne Lamott

Love More.

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jfro18
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by jfro18 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:38 am

As someone who would kill to have this discussion with their spouse, I am happy to see you are doing that regardless of which way you ultimately go.

Which issues are confusing/bothering you the most?

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by Mormorrisey » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:16 am

I need to read the Introductions section waaaay more often then I do. That's great that you've signed up; I learn a lot from your spouse's posts, and it's pretty clear that he thinks you're a keeper, so welcome!

One thing I've learned about this place is that many views are tolerated here - we can reject the things we don't like about the church, and keep the things we like, and to have open conversations about it that we just can't anywhere else. I will be looking forward to reading your contributions to our discussions.
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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IT_Veteran
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by IT_Veteran » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:00 am

Very happy to see you here love. It's a good group!

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jfro18
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by jfro18 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:08 am

It's a good group, and while I enjoy skimming the reddit forums, it's a much more respectful group and (I think) easier to talk about issues without things spiraling into a meme battle.

Hope you hang around and I hope we can all learn from each other - I'm just 6-8 weeks into my research and still learning about new areas each day. It's making me really angry, but at least I'm learning things. :lol:

TheRoadSouth
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by TheRoadSouth » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:40 am

It's great to finally meet you! I was in a fortunate position to stumble upon this group before my shelf completely broke, but it was bending for a long time. For me, the NOM slogan, "A place for free-thinking Mormons who refuse to be told what to believe" became real when I decided that I was 100% in charge of my own decisions. I could allow myself to say, "I believe the church is not true, but I also value the good in the people and activities of the church". Nobody has power over me to dictate how I live the gospel now. So I take my life one day at a time, trusting my own inner moral compass rather that things someone else is telling me. It's liberating, and I still can go to church and have these good people in my life and my DW doesn't have to be pariah with an unbelieving husband. What the future holds is unknown and frankly irrelevant.

One day at a time is best for me.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:07 am

Welcome!

I really hate the shelf analogy because it's black and white. Mormonism is full of this type of thinking which creates this nasty dilemma when we outgrow this type of thinking.

You're both in a current state of motion right now. You're learning new things from the real historical foundations of Mormonism that counteract a lot of the foundational claims of the correlated church narrative. You must understand that the correlated narrative paints a simple picture and the stuff you're learning taints the simplicity but not necessarily the whole picture. Mormonism is a beautiful picture of people with faith who are in pursuit of happiness and eternal life. Take a step closer and you'll see it was founded by a guy who was in pursuit of wealth, sex, and power who used carrots of happiness and eternal life to get his desires. Read the Nancy Rigdon story.

Here's a quick list to help you navigate accordingly:

1. Take it slow.

2. Think for yourself. This means to do your own research and ask yourself what you think of the issue. Don't just read the internet boards or the CES letter and agree with everyone because it's the popular thing to do.

3. Identify your core beliefs and values. You'll find that 99% of all humans are inherently good; not because of the church they go to, but because they just are.

4. Learn to laugh at yourself. Mormonism is definitely a pretty wacky religion if you step back and take a look with open eyes.

5. Don't feel guilty. The church instills very high levels of guilt through perfection doctrine and obedience.

6. The world is a big place. Step outside of your echo chamber and listen to the sounds others are making. You'll find beautiful new things that excite your newly awakens senses. Follow your heart and mind to see where it takes you.

7. You're on the verge of graduating from the 3rd grade. You'll know what I mean by this in a year from now.

8. Decide what you want to do with your life and pursue that. You'll see that you have options when you become awakened.

9. Love wins!

This last one is given as a warning. I've seen it play out over and over amongst our communities of disaffected Mormons.

10. Many couples who go through a faith crisis together often come out the other side together than quickly learn that their only connection was the church. Risk of divorce during/after a faith crisis is significantly higher. See Melinkie's post for a recent example. Steve & MaryAnn Benson, John & Zilpha Larsen, etc. Tal Bachman and his wife. It's common for one side of the couple to decide they missed out on the prime years of their young adult life. This results in one or the other pursuing young Latino boys in the bathroom of the nearest bar. :lol:
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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jfro18
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by jfro18 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:32 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:07 am
This last one is given as a warning. I've seen it play out over and over amongst our communities of disaffected Mormons.

10. Many couples who go through a faith crisis together often come out the other side together than quickly learn that their only connection was the church. Risk of divorce during/after a faith crisis is significantly higher. See Melinkie's post for a recent example. Steve & MaryAnn Benson, John & Zilpha Larsen, etc. Tal Bachman and his wife. It's common for one side of the couple to decide they missed out on the prime years of their young adult life. This results in one or the other pursuing young Latino boys in the bathroom of the nearest bar. :lol:
Wow that might be the most depressing thing I've read all day! :lol:

My biggest fear is that if my wife ever does listen to me and agrees with me, that she'll still resent me for putting her in that position where her family will always look down on us, etc. Not so much that she missed out on anything, but that I ruined something that united her family/beliefs (excluding one ex-mo sibling)

But I don't have much hope she'll ever really go over it all with me let alone agree with it, so I guess that'll be a problem to deal with if it ever comes up.

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Jeffret
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by Jeffret » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:34 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:07 am
This last one is given as a warning. I've seen it play out over and over amongst our communities of disaffected Mormons.

10. Many couples who go through a faith crisis together often come out the other side together than quickly learn that their only connection was the church. Risk of divorce during/after a faith crisis is significantly higher. See Melinkie's post for a recent example. Steve & MaryAnn Benson, John & Zilpha Larsen, etc. Tal Bachman and his wife. It's common for one side of the couple to decide they missed out on the prime years of their young adult life. This results in one or the other pursuing young Latino boys in the bathroom of the nearest bar. :lol:
I'd be very curious to get actual numbers on this claim. I'm not convinced it's a significant factor.

It's difficult to get exact numbers, but somewhere between 40 and 50% of marriages end in divorce. On a state-by-state basis, states in the Morridor rank relatively high, though it's not clear that it's due to Mormonism. Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming are near the top. Utah is in the top quarter. But, other non-Mormon-dominated states in the region come in similarly. Nevertheless within the area where most Mormons live, the divorce rate is closer to that 50% mark.

I don't know that we have enough numbers to say that a faith transition results in a significantly higher risk of divorce. Nationally, that doesn't particularly show up as a leading cause. Some aspects of Mormonism or ex-Mormonism may show up as potential positive or negative indicators.

Without better evidence, more than the anecdotal listings, I'm inclined to be skeptical of this idea. Rather, I think better explanations are that life (and marriage) are unsafe at any speed and the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon (also known as the frequency illusion, why the model car you just bought starts showing up everywhere you look) .
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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Corsair
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by Corsair » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:46 pm

Kalikala wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:18 am
I have issues I'm angry about and issues I'm confused about and hubby said that this would be a good place to talk about some of them. So here I am.
We are really glad to have a spouse show up on the board. This level of connection in a married couple during faith transition simply does not happen very often.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:19 pm

Jeffret wrote:I don't know that we have enough numbers to say that a faith transition results in a significantly higher risk of divorce. Nationally, that doesn't particularly show up as a leading cause. Some aspects of Mormonism or ex-Mormonism may show up as potential positive or negative indicators.

Without better evidence, more than the anecdotal listings, I'm inclined to be skeptical of this idea. Rather, I think better explanations are that life (and marriage) are unsafe at any speed and the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon (also known as the frequency illusion, why the model car you just bought starts showing up everywhere you look) .
I totally agree we need to see better data to prop up my assumptions. I'm merely throwing out the idea that many LDS couples are simply bound only by their common belief in the church. A symptom of a quick engagement and Kimball's teachings that a testimony is all that is needed.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Jeffret
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by Jeffret » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:32 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:19 pm
I totally agree we need to see better data to prop up my assumptions. I'm merely throwing out the idea that many LDS couples are simply bound only by their common belief in the church. A symptom of a quick engagement and Kimball's teachings that a testimony is all that is needed.
It's a valid possibility but I don't know that we have any reason to consider it a particular concern. Or that it is a primary relationship trouble indicator. It may be one more factor in troubled relationships. Or a major factor in some percentage of presumably smaller number of relationships. But, many relationships are very successful through faith transitions.

I admit I'm frequently a contributor to off-topic discussions, but this line of thought (item #10) from its inception feels particularly off-topic on this thread.
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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Kalikala
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by Kalikala » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:25 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:38 am
Which issues are confusing/bothering you the most?
It seems like a long list lately. But the big ones right now are:

1 ~ Joseph Smith marrying married women, promising them and their families salvation if they married him (totally not how that works), and putting many of his wives in positions which restrict or take away their agency.

2 ~ I'm reading Wife No. 19 right now, and Brigham Young was a total ass. I find it difficult to see him as any kind of spiritual leader, let alone a prophet.

3 ~ I recently came out to my husband (after 18 years of marriage) that I am bisexual. Now having that at the surface and no longer trying to push it into the dark recesses of my mind has forced me to deal with experiences growing up in a very anti-LGBT community and the hateful things that were said and done. I'm having a difficult time reconciling this part of me with the church that claims to love and have a place for everyone.

Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:07 am
This last one is given as a warning. I've seen it play out over and over amongst our communities of disaffected Mormons.

10. Many couples who go through a faith crisis together often come out the other side together than quickly learn that their only connection was the church. Risk of divorce during/after a faith crisis is significantly higher. See Melinkie's post for a recent example. Steve & MaryAnn Benson, John & Zilpha Larsen, etc. Tal Bachman and his wife. It's common for one side of the couple to decide they missed out on the prime years of their young adult life. This results in one or the other pursuing young Latino boys in the bathroom of the nearest bar. :lol:
Thank you for your advice. I'm so sorry that your relationship didn't work out. I hope you have better luck in the future. A cute Latino boy is nothing to be ashamed of. ;)
"The opposite of Faith is not Doubt, it's Certainty." ~ Anne Lamott

Love More.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:03 pm

Kalikala wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:25 pm
3 ~ I recently came out to my husband (after 18 years of marriage) that I am bisexual. Now having that at the surface and no longer trying to push it into the dark recesses of my mind has forced me to deal with experiences growing up in a very anti-LGBT community and the hateful things that were said and done. I'm having a difficult time reconciling this part of me with the church that claims to love and have a place for everyone.

IT_Vet didn't mention that! Well praise be! That changes the script a little. I'm predicting you'll be tossing Mormonism out sooner rather than later as you reconcile this part of your self. See what options you have when Mormonism goes the way of the typewriter? Shoring up that shelf won't allow for that self exploration. :lol:

Where's MoJo when we need her? She's a former NOM poster who came out to her husband and they stayed married while he encouraged her to date other women.

Good luck with your journey. We're here to give free advice, summarize general conference, and overtly make fun of Mormonism!
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Perfigliano
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by Perfigliano » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:01 pm

Welcome to the forum. I'm new too.
Kalikala wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:25 pm
3 ~ I recently came out to my husband (after 18 years of marriage) that I am bisexual. Now having that at the surface and no longer trying to push it into the dark recesses of my mind has forced me to deal with experiences growing up in a very anti-LGBT community and the hateful things that were said and done. I'm having a difficult time reconciling this part of me with the church that claims to love and have a place for everyone.
I guess you wouldn't have anything to compare it to, but I'd imagine it might be easier to be bisexual in the church than lesbian since you still have a "valid" outlet for half of your attraction. You still have to repress the other half, I guess, so I'd imagine it's not painless.

I'm just curious what that experience is like.
Integrity is more important than loyalty.

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IT_Veteran
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by IT_Veteran » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:47 am

Perfigliano wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:01 pm
Welcome to the forum. I'm new too.
Kalikala wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:25 pm
3 ~ I recently came out to my husband (after 18 years of marriage) that I am bisexual. Now having that at the surface and no longer trying to push it into the dark recesses of my mind has forced me to deal with experiences growing up in a very anti-LGBT community and the hateful things that were said and done. I'm having a difficult time reconciling this part of me with the church that claims to love and have a place for everyone.
I guess you wouldn't have anything to compare it to, but I'd imagine it might be easier to be bisexual in the church than lesbian since you still have a "valid" outlet for half of your attraction. You still have to repress the other half, I guess, so I'd imagine it's not painless.

I'm just curious what that experience is like.
I'm not sure if she'll chime in on that or not, so I will! That's actually been one of the fears that has kept her from coming out to people at church (and to me). The response that "it's okay, you married a man anyway, so it's not a big deal" hurts more than well-meaning people at church understand. I know you weren't suggesting that, and I'm sure it is a different experience than someone that is gay or lesbian, but that hurts too.

Despite the good intentions of those that would suggest it, it hurts to have part of who you are excused as just a little broken. I think that's why it's offensive - it implies that there is something wrong with it.

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wtfluff
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by wtfluff » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:05 am

IT_Veteran wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:47 am
Perfigliano wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:01 pm
Welcome to the forum. I'm new too.
Kalikala wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:25 pm
3 ~ I recently came out to my husband (after 18 years of marriage) that I am bisexual. Now having that at the surface and no longer trying to push it into the dark recesses of my mind has forced me to deal with experiences growing up in a very anti-LGBT community and the hateful things that were said and done. I'm having a difficult time reconciling this part of me with the church that claims to love and have a place for everyone.
I guess you wouldn't have anything to compare it to, but I'd imagine it might be easier to be bisexual in the church than lesbian since you still have a "valid" outlet for half of your attraction. You still have to repress the other half, I guess, so I'd imagine it's not painless.

I'm just curious what that experience is like.
I'm not sure if she'll chime in on that or not, so I will! That's actually been one of the fears that has kept her from coming out to people at church (and to me). The response that "it's okay, you married a man anyway, so it's not a big deal" hurts more than well-meaning people at church understand. I know you weren't suggesting that, and I'm sure it is a different experience than someone that is gay or lesbian, but that hurts too.

Despite the good intentions of those that would suggest it, it hurts to have part of who you are excused as just a little broken. I think that's why it's offensive - it implies that there is something wrong with it.
First off, Welcome Kalikala! It's been fun "getting to know" Mr. Kalikala a bit the last little while.

Second: While reading through this thread, the thought hit me that you folks have probably given enough information here for your "ward family" to figure out who you are. Just a thought if you don't want this information available to them...
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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IT_Veteran
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by IT_Veteran » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:32 am

wtfluff wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:05 am
IT_Veteran wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:47 am
Perfigliano wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:01 pm
Welcome to the forum. I'm new too.


I guess you wouldn't have anything to compare it to, but I'd imagine it might be easier to be bisexual in the church than lesbian since you still have a "valid" outlet for half of your attraction. You still have to repress the other half, I guess, so I'd imagine it's not painless.

I'm just curious what that experience is like.
I'm not sure if she'll chime in on that or not, so I will! That's actually been one of the fears that has kept her from coming out to people at church (and to me). The response that "it's okay, you married a man anyway, so it's not a big deal" hurts more than well-meaning people at church understand. I know you weren't suggesting that, and I'm sure it is a different experience than someone that is gay or lesbian, but that hurts too.

Despite the good intentions of those that would suggest it, it hurts to have part of who you are excused as just a little broken. I think that's why it's offensive - it implies that there is something wrong with it.
First off, Welcome Kalikala! It's been fun "getting to know" Mr. Kalikala a bit the last little while.

Second: While reading through this thread, the thought hit me that you folks have probably given enough information here for your "ward family" to figure out who you are. Just a thought if you don't want this information available to them...
I've considered that before too. I actually posted a picture with me in it on the exmo subreddit a couple weeks ago. I sent a letter to my bishop to let him know I'm out. My kids know, and we've told them it's not a secret. My wife's closest friends are moslty ward members (we're outside Utah, so our ward covers about 60 miles of freeway - Google Earth calculations show almost 600 sq miles). She told them almost immediately after I told her I was out. I don't think they all know where she's at with her own belief now, but they've been pretty accepting of me.

So far, the bishop has honored my request to not send priesthood leaders, home teachers, or missionaries to rescue me. I haven't heard from him - at all - since I sent him my email. He's spoken to my wife once, at her request. We're just in a place right now, I think, that we want to be authentic with people. It's nice to have a safe place like NOM to come and vent or ask questions, but I don't think either one of us are necessarily hiding anything from anybody.

Edit: Forgot to add that I actually responded yesterday to a Quora question about why members chose to leave the church, so that's posted with my real name. I'm mostly done hiding from it. Mostly.

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Jeffret
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by Jeffret » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:35 am

IT_Veteran wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:32 am
We're just in a place right now, I think, that we want to be authentic with people. It's nice to have a safe place like NOM to come and vent or ask questions, but I don't think either one of us are necessarily hiding anything from anybody.
It's nice to be in a situation like that. That's certainly not the case for many people. Including many people when they first come here to NOM. It's more common for them to try and stay under cover, particularly when they start out. But there are certainly those who are quite open about their religious views. In my case, I first started doing this 20-30 years ago when hardly anyone knew what the internet was. There was a certain degree of anonymity because hardly anyone was aware and the chance of finding anyone or anything specifically was pretty small. Since I've been gone from the church for quite a while I try not to make it a focus in my interactions outside of NOM. But, it's pretty easy for anyone to figure out my identity if they want, such as on Facebook.
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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Kalikala
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Re: Consistently Confused

Post by Kalikala » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:47 pm

Perfigliano wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:01 pm
Welcome to the forum. I'm new too.
Kalikala wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:25 pm
3 ~ I recently came out to my husband (after 18 years of marriage) that I am bisexual. Now having that at the surface and no longer trying to push it into the dark recesses of my mind has forced me to deal with experiences growing up in a very anti-LGBT community and the hateful things that were said and done. I'm having a difficult time reconciling this part of me with the church that claims to love and have a place for everyone.
I guess you wouldn't have anything to compare it to, but I'd imagine it might be easier to be bisexual in the church than lesbian since you still have a "valid" outlet for half of your attraction. You still have to repress the other half, I guess, so I'd imagine it's not painless.

I'm just curious what that experience is like.
I've actually been extremely grateful throughout my life that I am bisexual and not lesbian. I'm not sure I would have made it out of high school alive if the latter was the case. As it is, I ended up with an amazing man that I am completely smitten with. And I never regret that.

What I do regret is the constant self hate and self berating I put myself through. Every time I noticed a beautiful woman, felt that spark of attraction, it was immediately pushed down deep and I would panic. Did anyone notice? Don't say anything. It's not ok to feel this way. What's wrong with me.

It was as if I were a witch, and if I didn't keep it hidden I would be burned at the stake. I lived in constant fear that someone would find out and I would would be subjected to the harassment I saw and heard people hand out to others. I was petrified for most of my youth.

IT_Veteran wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:47 am

I'm not sure if she'll chime in on that or not, so I will! That's actually been one of the fears that has kept her from coming out to people at church (and to me). The response that "it's okay, you married a man anyway, so it's not a big deal" hurts more than well-meaning people at church understand. I know you weren't suggesting that, and I'm sure it is a different experience than someone that is gay or lesbian, but that hurts too.

Despite the good intentions of those that would suggest it, it hurts to have part of who you are excused as just a little broken. I think that's why it's offensive - it implies that there is something wrong with it.
This is true. I actually don't mind the questions though. It's refreshing to talk about it after being in silence for so many years.
Last edited by Kalikala on Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The opposite of Faith is not Doubt, it's Certainty." ~ Anne Lamott

Love More.

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