How to have the talk

Discussions about negotiating relationships between faithful LDS believers and the apostates who love them. This applies in particular to mixed-faith marriages, but relations with children, parents, siblings, friends, and ward members is very welcome.
User avatar
MerrieMiss
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:03 pm

How to have the talk

Post by MerrieMiss » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:59 pm

So, I've been playing the really long game and have never been completely honest with my husband about where I stand in my belief and the church. I can tell we're getting really close to having some kind of explosive conversation/confrontation. It may be the first we've ever had in fifteen years of marriage.

Any tips on what kinds of ways to talk about controversial issues? What time of day is best? How to stay on topic? How to avoid accusations? Any advice is appreciated.
The true opposite of order is not disorder but freedom. Most profoundly, the true opposite of control is not chaos but self-control. -Jay Griffiths

User avatar
FiveFingerMnemonic
Posts: 530
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:50 pm
Contact:

Re: How to have the talk

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:14 pm

It's going to be painful. I have nothing else helpful to add. I am interested in how this works from the opposite gender scenario though. I don't beleive there will be any ideal conditions to make it a good experience.

User avatar
Dravin
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:04 am

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Dravin » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:04 pm

MerrieMiss wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:59 pm
Any tips on what kinds of ways to talk about controversial issues?
Standard advice is to keep things focused on what you think, and what you feel, instead of making objective claims. For example, "I feel mislead by the church." rather than, "The church lied to me." It lets you focus on your thoughts and feelings instead of getting bogged down into if the Church objectively lied. You may want to have that conversation (the church deceived vs you feeling deceived), but I suggest the first conversation informing him you aren't a TBM isn't the ideal place.

That said, you may want to do your best to focus on where you are in your belief rather than your issues for the first conversation. If he's deeply TBM he'll likely be shocked and/or go into concern resolution mode and neither place is the best place for an open examination of your concerns with the church.
What time of day is best?
When you're both well rested and bushy eyed. Tiredness is the enemy of emotional control, for both of you.
How to stay on topic?
That one is tricky, as you don't want to just out of hand dismiss topics he'll bring up just because it isn't on the agenda. Redirection and offering to discuss things later when you are both prepared is the best advice I can offer.
How to avoid accusations?
The only accusations you can avoid are the ones you might be inclined to make yourself. As far as his accusations, just keep in mind he'll likely be scared and scared people tend to lash out. Angry people also lash out and accusations tend to make us angry, particularly if we feel they're uncalled for. It can result in a nasty death spiral of high emotion if someone doesn't pull out of it, since you can't control him you'll want to be prepared to shoulder that burden yourself.
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

User avatar
LostGirl
Posts: 179
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:43 pm

Re: How to have the talk

Post by LostGirl » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:03 am

As someone who is in a very similar boat I would really like to know how this pans out for you.

I think mine sees all of the issues but feels that his spiritual experiences trump academic research. That is not something that can be argued with and it would be pointless and disrespectful to try to convince him that his experiences may not stack up.

So we do the limbo around the elephant in the room.

User avatar
Corsair
Posts: 1367
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:58 am
Location: Phoenix

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Corsair » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:39 pm

MerrieMiss wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:59 pm
Any tips on what kinds of ways to talk about controversial issues? What time of day is best? How to stay on topic? How to avoid accusations? Any advice is appreciated.
If there was a reliable way to have this conversation the LDS church would be a lot smaller than it is now. This is a complicated discussion under the best circumstances and is catastrophic under poor circumstances.

A clear part of the problem is that often the heretic has been studying and processing the major issues for a months and often years before talking with a spouse. The temptation is to unloading all the issues in one large nuclear package and thi will generally backfire badly. Giving your dear spouse the chance to study on their own is often necessary while exhibiting the patience of Job while it happens. I have seen some acquaintences starting the discussion with a calmly focused question like:
I'm trying to figure out how polygamy works. The church has a couple of essays on it. Could you read these and help me understand how you process them?
There are some admittedly Machiavellian aspects to this approach. By framing the issue in one narrowly focused question, you have deftly placed the burden of proof on the believer and it's important to carefully keep it that way. It's a bit duplicitious in this regard because you will have to be thorougly familiar with vast numbers of arguments and responses to the issue (plural marriage, in this case), but approaching your spouse almost as if you are initially learning about it with them.

The LDS church has given you very few favors in this regard although I do give credit to the essays making this discussion possible. But, make no mistake, the essays universally end with an implicit conclusion that staying faithful to the institutional LDS church is the correct and obvious choice. You must also accept the reality that the explanation in the essays absolutely work for many believer. It's common that the essays will be "skimmed" rather than studied and it's important to politely point out some of the most painful facts hinted at such as the notorious phrase "several months before her 15th birthday".

Brigham Young spent months studying the early Mormon church before he joined. It might take years for your spouse to process all the details when you have that talk. Good luck figuring out how to move forward.

User avatar
Enoch Witty
Posts: 270
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:14 am

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Enoch Witty » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:15 pm

I focused on shared values. What we both clearly believed, and why I didn't think the church represented those values for me anymore. Good luck.

User avatar
Linked
Posts: 459
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:04 pm

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Linked » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:25 pm

Don't write an email to an exmo ex-boyfriend and leave it up on your tablet for your DH to find. That one doesn't go very well.

I've spent A LOT of time thinking of ways to talk about this stuff with my DW, so I have opinions. You will find them below, but they may not make sense in your situation. I hope some do!

Will this discussion come out of left field and be a complete surprise for DH, or have you given him reason to suspect you aren't TBM anymore? Based on some of your previous posts I am guessing that he suspects something is up, but obviously you know best. If this is going to be a complete surprise, I would recommend what Clay Christensen sometimes recommends on reddit: give DH a copy of the CES letter, or a link to the year of polygamy podcast, or whatever it was that led you to disbelieve the mormon narrative and tell him you need him to read it. Don't discuss anything until he has read through it and then have an open discussion.

If he suspects something is up then I think you should jump into a conversation. When I discuss these things with my wife I talk a lot about worldviews and paradigms shifting. She used to bring up that I am the one changing and changing from mormonism is bad, so I tried to point out that anyone converting from another religion to mormonism is in a similar boat, that worked pretty well. Do your best to use stories and details to flesh out your points. The pithy statements thrown around as great comments on reddit are not good for convincing a TBM, in my opinion.

Plan a date with lots of time for a long dinner and after you get settled in tell him "We need to talk (about church)." Be honest with him, but try not to overwhelm him. I would focus on just one or two of the biggest things that have led you to disbelieve in the mormon narrative, otherwise he will latch onto the simpler things and solve them and wonder why you are having such a hard time. (When I had the talk with my parents and siblings I was all over the place, and they latched onto stuff that I really don't care about. Best to just leave that stuff out of it for now. If it ever comes up I've crafted what I think is a great analogy "If your spouse cheated on you repeatedly and you divorced them, but you enjoy not having to clean their hair out of the shower drain anymore, does that mean you divorced them because they shed hair into the shower drain? No!")

He is going to be hurt that you have felt this way for so long and that you confide in us here at NOM (and elsewhere?). If it is true, try to reassure him that you love him and he is the husband you want. I have tried to paint the picture of why I was so scared to bring this up with my DW so she can understand why I wasn't more open about it to her with moderate success. (Usually the discussions go badly, but then the next discussion my comments seem to have sunk in a little bit.)
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

Thoughtful
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:54 pm

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Thoughtful » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:03 am

I suggest doing a whole lot of listening. Not so much talking. Have one small topic to discuss, but be prepared to listen more than unloading. It may take much longer and many more talks but it's much safer.

User avatar
Red Ryder
Posts: 925
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:24 pm

In nearly 13 years of reading boards, blogs, and exit stories, the most common mistake people make is to not tell their spouse anything, and then when they can't take it anymore they back up the dump truck and unload everything all at once. This almost always never works and creates chaos that takes forever to settle down.

Some people (like glass shelf :D - we miss you around here) will tell you to just rip the band-aid off. This is one option that may be best for your spouse. Only you can know that for sure. However there are multiple options and here is one that people don't always think of. It's more strategy than advice so take what you want from it.

TLDR; Take it slow, pick your issues carefully, and learn about things together.

Recreate your faith crisis and walk him along with you.

How do you do this? You step out onto the slippery slope.

1. Keep it simple to crack open the door. As mentioned above, choose a few issues that can't be solved with the Sunday school answers. The "temple is weird" really goes along way. Spend a day and go to the temple with him. Then on the way home, have a conversation about how awkward and strange it felt to you all of these years. Ask him if he knows the origins of the temple and how/where it all started. Finish the conversation with a few suggestions that you're interested in looking more into it. This will start the process and not surprise him when you come back with new information.

2. Repeat with issues that bother you but understand that not everything that bothers you will bother him. Know when to exit and wait. Pick your battles strategically and take your time.

3. If he's responsive to this method, introduce a few Mormon Stories Podcast episodes, books, or other materials to draw from. In 2017, there is an abundance of resources that you can rely on for help. Know the menu.

Here's a few rules:

1. Focus on developing a strong sense of self awareness of your own emotional state and that of your spouse. Knowing when NOT to have a conversation is half the battle. Knowing when to exit and wait is the other half. Be self aware.

2. Learn to turn towards each other during conflict. Always be patient, thoughtful, and kind. Focus on learning to communicate with each other on an emotional level. Facts don't always matter but feelings always do.

3. Don't feel like your manipulating him. Remember that the church has literally spent hundreds of thousands of hours (and your tithing $) on keeping our attention focused on belief. They have massaged, whitewashed, correlated, and carefully worded the narrative into a faithful narrative. All you're doing is unwinding that bit by bit to expose the true history and exposing him to the reality that the church just might not be what it claims to be.
Elder Nelson seems to have somehow become the mouthpiece of the mouthpiece of God. ~ Hagoth

Korihor
Posts: 1236
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:37 am

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Korihor » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:59 pm

Just connect with him. Be honest. Be open. Be vulnerable. Be sincere
Reading can severely damage your ignorance.

User avatar
crossmyheart
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:02 am
Location: Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain

Re: How to have the talk

Post by crossmyheart » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:15 am

My biggest mistake was that I had already read so much that I had already come to the conclusion that it was false. So anytime he tried to discuss things with me I had all of the answers.

So my advice? Give him the big questions and then let him find the answers. Not, "search the scriptures and pray more" kind of answers, but make him actually find answers to the deep stuff- CES letter kind of questions.

And - always reassure him you are committed to the marriage.

User avatar
Emower
Posts: 626
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:35 pm

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Emower » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:19 pm

Good stuff here. I would second Corsair's suggestion of dont unload all at once. Choose some issues and go at it slowly. Make it feel like you are not as far gone as you think you are.

User avatar
Nonny
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:44 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Nonny » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:10 pm

Me too, merrie miss, me too. (Reading over what I have written, I find it may be less than helpful to you, so ignore whatever doesn't fit your situation. I at least empathize with you.)

I have been wondering this for at least 10 years now. So I understand about the long game, or glacial pace. After this much time I am mostly emotionally distanced from church topics so I think that will help. But there is so much water under the bridge I can't ask innocent questions because he suspects a trap. Occasionally I have asked his opinion or if he'll read a church essay or a book. He might say he will but he never does. I think he might be afraid of what he might find out. I definitely do not want to destroy his testimony. I think you need to at least not have that as your motive. I mainly just want to know that my dh accepts me the way I am. I think that is an outcome we (you and I) cannot expect to be guaranteed. Are you prepared to accept whatever the outcome of your conversation will be? I have prepared many entres into conversation, but he has never responded in a way that opens up the conversation. Is it possible to spend the rest of our married life at this impasse? Is that an outcome you are willing to accept? Or am I?

So my best suggestions are: try to be unemotional, don't expect any particular outcome, stay calm, ask your opening question and then listen, listen, listen. Rebuttals and judgmental language will shut down the conversation. After some time of asking and listening, probably he will be willing to hear your interpretation of these same subjects.

As I was thinking of this as an elephant in the room, I found that there is not only an elephant, but we have thrown a slipcover over it and turned it into additional seating!

User avatar
Hermey
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:32 pm

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Hermey » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:14 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:24 pm
In nearly 13 years of reading boards, blogs, and exit stories, the most common mistake people make is to not tell their spouse anything, and then when they can't take it anymore they back up the dump truck and unload everything all at once. This almost always never works and creates chaos that takes forever to settle down.

Some people (like glass shelf :D - we miss you around here) will tell you to just rip the band-aid off. This is one option that may be best for your spouse. Only you can know that for sure. However there are multiple options and here is one that people don't always think of. It's more strategy than advice so take what you want from it.

TLDR; Take it slow, pick your issues carefully, and learn about things together.

Recreate your faith crisis and walk him along with you.

How do you do this? You step out onto the slippery slope.

1. Keep it simple to crack open the door. As mentioned above, choose a few issues that can't be solved with the Sunday school answers. The "temple is weird" really goes along way. Spend a day and go to the temple with him. Then on the way home, have a conversation about how awkward and strange it felt to you all of these years. Ask him if he knows the origins of the temple and how/where it all started. Finish the conversation with a few suggestions that you're interested in looking more into it. This will start the process and not surprise him when you come back with new information.

2. Repeat with issues that bother you but understand that not everything that bothers you will bother him. Know when to exit and wait. Pick your battles strategically and take your time.

3. If he's responsive to this method, introduce a few Mormon Stories Podcast episodes, books, or other materials to draw from. In 2017, there is an abundance of resources that you can rely on for help. Know the menu.

Here's a few rules:

1. Focus on developing a strong sense of self awareness of your own emotional state and that of your spouse. Knowing when NOT to have a conversation is half the battle. Knowing when to exit and wait is the other half. Be self aware.

2. Learn to turn towards each other during conflict. Always be patient, thoughtful, and kind. Focus on learning to communicate with each other on an emotional level. Facts don't always matter but feelings always do.

3. Don't feel like your manipulating him. Remember that the church has literally spent hundreds of thousands of hours (and your tithing $) on keeping our attention focused on belief. They have massaged, whitewashed, correlated, and carefully worded the narrative into a faithful narrative. All you're doing is unwinding that bit by bit to expose the true history and exposing him to the reality that the church just might not be what it claims to be.
I really like this.

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 1250
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Hagoth » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:54 am

Dravin wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:04 pm
Standard advice is to keep things focused on what you think, and what you feel, instead of making objective claims. For example, "I feel mislead by the church." rather than, "The church lied to me."
I totally agree with this. The biggest problem is that anything that sounds like an attack on the church is taken by a believer as a personal attack. I noticed this early with my wife have tried to avoid it ever since. But sometimes the church leaders say or do things that really hurt you and make you sad, and you should let your spouse see that.

What has really been helpful for me, is to emphasize the fact that (in contrast to Mrs. Hagoth, who is a convert) those of us who were born into the church were never afforded the option of choice. We were commanded to believe and we were never given enough respect to be permitted to make an adult choice once we were old enough.

One question that I find useful with other born-in-the-covenants is to ask, "how did you come to be a Mormon?" The followup question is, "What do you think your religion would be if you were born in Afghanistan?" Surprisingly enough, few people seem to have asked themselves this question.

Another approach that has been very helpful for me is to not bring up church topics out of the blue but to correct misinformation when it is presented. Discussion after Sunday School is a good time for this. I make comments like, "I really wish they'd stop telling that milk strippings story. Thomas Marsh wrote a letter explaining the real reason he left" It's not an angry jab at the church, it's an honest question and an opportunity for followup that can be verified up by just a few minutes of reading, if they have any interest at all. But if they don't want to address it, you can let it slide. It will come up again in a talk or lesson and they will remember what you said.

The problem is that no one can give you the best advice, because every spouse and every marriage is different. Some people have had success with ripping the bandage off but it has been disastrous for others. Going slow has worked very well for me. My wife accepts that I don't believe any of it and she feels safe that I'm not ridiculing her faith. We both make the effort to meet each other half way. I have tried to understand her emotional struggles with my disaffection and I have let her see how painful and emotional it has been for me too.

The secret is helping them get to the point where they understand that what you want and need, personally and as a couple, is more important than what the COB wants and needs. And that ain't easy.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

User avatar
Vlad the Emailer
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:03 pm
Location: Lower Midwest

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Vlad the Emailer » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:14 am

There are obviously a lot of ways to go about this, as you can see with the great advice here, but if you're at the very starting point with your DH I like the idea of basically going on a voyage of discovery together.

For example, if it was me starting this all over with my DW I might mention that the LBGT ban reminded me somewhat of the priesthood ban and so I came upon that particular essay on lds.org. I would explain how astonished I was to learn that regardless of all that was said about that issue over the years, the church was now saying it was just a mistake made by BY, and never came from God. I would wonder aloud how God could allow His true prophet to alter His true church in this fashion and wouldn't just tell him, "no that is what you want, but it isn't the church of Brigham Young and every worthy male can have the priesthood in My church".

An issue like that brings up major questions about the legitimacy of prophets, and you can introduce it as something that concerns you and ask what he thinks. A heavy shelf item brought up innocently.

Just a thought. Same type of thing can be done starting with other issues, as suggested above.

It's been several days since you posted. I hope you'll return and report.
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease being mistaken, or cease being honest. - Anonymous

Say what you want about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying. - Kurt Vonnegut

User avatar
MerrieMiss
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:03 pm

Re: How to have the talk

Post by MerrieMiss » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:04 pm

There’s a lot of good stuff here, and first of all, thanks to Dravin for reminding me not to discuss things when you’re tired. Sunday evening I’ve just about had it, but I really need to let it go, so I did. Everything’s been calm for the last week or so.

When we moved we chose to leave the community where we’ve lived for ten years. I felt like I couldn’t really move on from Mormonism if we didn’t leave the ward/area. Of course, I kept this information to myself. The move has been more difficult for both of us than we anticipated and I think it’s been causing a lot of small outbursts. I think he underestimated the decrease in his social contacts but I lost mine almost completely – being a stay-at-home mom is lonely, and as shallow as I know my old community was, it was still there, and now I’m alone and trying to build new support and community that isn’t based on my new ward, and it’s difficult and takes time. So, there’s some stress and a move transition to get used to, and I think it’s pushing both of our buttons.

I really liked what Red Ryder had to say, so I’ll focus a lot of my response there. When I went through my faith transition initially, I didn’t even know that was what was happening. I didn’t know it was a thing. So I kept it to myself because doubting the church is shameful and I thought I’d snap out of it. We also had never discussed church with each other, so not discussing my issues was just business as usual. This went on for several years.

While I went through a phase of wanting to deconvert him, all I really want now is some compassion and understanding. That’s it. While I could rip off the band-aid I don’t think it would be effective for us, and I decided a while back to kind of recreate my faith crisis, but I’ve felt very dishonest about it. But it is effective. I would put my TBM husband right now where I was about 10-15 years ago. People’s perceptions do change over time, usually very slowly.
Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:24 pm

1. Keep it simple to crack open the door. As mentioned above, choose a few issues that can't be solved with the Sunday school answers.

2. Repeat with issues that bother you but understand that not everything that bothers you will bother him. Know when to exit and wait. Pick your battles strategically and take your time.

3. If he's responsive to this method, introduce a few materials to draw from.
So far this has worked, but it is a very slow process that takes a lot of time. We’ve listened and discussed one podcast together (Mormon Stories, Daymon Smith), and it’s become kind of a running joke between us. Whenever something crazy happens, I just say, “Well, they’ve been correlated.” And it’s always true. :lol:
Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:24 pm
1. Knowing when NOT to have a conversation is half the battle
True, but difficult.
Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:24 pm
2. Learn to turn towards each other during conflict. Always be patient, thoughtful, and kind. Focus on learning to communicate with each other on an emotional level. Facts don't always matter but feelings always do.
This is difficult for me, as I have difficulty sharing my emotions. I usually shut down, but I think he would appreciate it immensely.
Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:24 pm
3. Don't feel like your manipulating him. Remember that the church has literally spent hundreds of thousands of hours (and your tithing $) on keeping our attention focused on belief. They have massaged, whitewashed, correlated, and carefully worded the narrative into a faithful narrative. All you're doing is unwinding that bit by bit to expose the true history and exposing him to the reality that the church just might not be what it claims to be.
I do feel like it’s dishonest and manipulative. I feel like I’m treating him like a little kid. But perhaps it isn’t so bad. I know everyone has their different issues with the church, and it’s really obvious that there are things that bother him that I’ve never really thought about because they don’t bother me. It has given us an opportunity to research together.
Corsair wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:39 pm
Giving your dear spouse the chance to study on their own is often necessary while exhibiting the patience of Job while it happens…There are some admittedly Machiavellian aspects to this approach. By framing the issue in one narrowly focused question, you have deftly placed the burden of proof on the believer and it's important to carefully keep it that way. It's a bit duplicitious in this regard because you will have to be thorougly familiar with vast numbers of arguments and responses to the issue (plural marriage, in this case), but approaching your spouse almost as if you are initially learning about it with them.
Yes, I did this last night. Someone in church Sunday claimed that something was a commandment and I very innocently asked DH how we know that’s so. Where is it written? Who said so? A GA did once, but it wasn’t very convincing as there was no other source. DH concluded that maybe it isn’t one. To which I replied, “It’s so difficult to keep all the commandments if I don’t even know what they all are.”
The true opposite of order is not disorder but freedom. Most profoundly, the true opposite of control is not chaos but self-control. -Jay Griffiths

User avatar
MerrieMiss
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:03 pm

Re: How to have the talk

Post by MerrieMiss » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:15 pm

Dravin wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:04 pm
Standard advice is to keep things focused on what you think, and what you feel, instead of making objective claims. For example, "I feel mislead by the church." rather than, "The church lied to me."
Good point on how to frame it.
Dravin wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:04 pm
How to stay on topic? That one is tricky, as you don't want to just out of hand dismiss topics he'll bring up just because it isn't on the agenda. Redirection and offering to discuss things later when you are both prepared is the best advice I can offer.

It is important to not be dismissive, but I was thinking more about myself. As Linked pointed out, it’s easy to just bounce every problem around and to me they are related because of where I am in my disbelief, but to anyone else they are a jumbled mess of issues and feelings that don’t seem to have any connection. It makes me sound like a lunatic.
Dravin wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:04 pm
The only accusations you can avoid are the ones you might be inclined to make yourself.
So true, as in so much advice here, the only person I can control is myself.
Linked wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:25 pm
Will this discussion come out of left field and be a complete surprise for DH, or have you given him reason to suspect you aren't TBM anymore? Based on some of your previous posts I am guessing that he suspects something is up, but obviously you know best.
Oh, he knows I have issues, but he can’t possibly wrap his brain around it. I think, but am not certain, he believes I need an attitude adjustment.
crossmyheart wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:15 am
My biggest mistake was that I had already read so much that I had already come to the conclusion that it was false. So anytime he tried to discuss things with me I had all of the answers.

So my advice? Give him the big questions and then let him find the answers.
Yes, I often pretend a little bit like I have no idea just to further the conversation. But, there have been some things that I haven’t read about or thought about much because they don’t interest me. I think there is plenty out there to pick from.
Nonny wrote:
Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:10 pm
But there is so much water under the bridge I can't ask innocent questions because he suspects a trap. Occasionally I have asked his opinion or if he'll read a church essay or a book...I mainly just want to know that my dh accepts me the way I am. I think that is an outcome we (you and I) cannot expect to be guaranteed. Are you prepared to accept whatever the outcome of your conversation will be? I have prepared many entres into conversation, but he has never responded in a way that opens up the conversation. Is it possible to spend the rest of our married life at this impasse? Is that an outcome you are willing to accept? Or am I?

So my best suggestions are: try to be unemotional, don't expect any particular outcome, stay calm, ask your opening question and then listen, listen, listen. Rebuttals and judgmental language will shut down the conversation. After some time of asking and listening, probably he will be willing to hear your interpretation of these same subjects.

As I was thinking of this as an elephant in the room, I found that there is not only an elephant, but we have thrown a slipcover over it and turned it into additional seating!
Yes, I’ve found I needed to backtrack a little so I can be trusted, that I don’t have an agenda. Love your slipcover metaphor!

And like you, I just want him to accept that this is the way I am. I don’t know how much of a deal breaker that is. I mean, I don’t think he cares what I believe. I do think he cares what I do. And this creates a problem. I was willing to follow every Mormon rule/commandment/social nicety when I was figuring things out. But now that I have come to the conclusion that it’s all made up, those things has no meaning whatsoever; it’s so arbitrary - rules for the sake of rules because someone says so. But DH doesn’t see it that way – he sees me wanting to wear normal underwear or skip church and thinks that is the cause of the disaffection, when it’s exactly the opposite.
Hagoth wrote:
Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:54 am
What has really been helpful for me, is to emphasize the fact that (in contrast to Mrs. Hagoth, who is a convert) those of us who were born into the church were never afforded the option of choice. We were commanded to believe and we were never given enough respect to be permitted to make an adult choice once we were old enough.

One question that I find useful with other born-in-the-covenants is to ask, "how did you come to be a Mormon?" The followup question is, "What do you think your religion would be if you were born in Afghanistan?" Surprisingly enough, few people seem to have asked themselves this question.
Even as a kid (maybe because I had a convert parent?) I acknowledged that I would have never been a Mormon had I been born something else. So it is surprising to me that so few people ask this question of themselves. I asked DH something similar once, and he looked at me like it was a stupid thing to ask. I repeatedly emphasize that it bothers me I have never truly investigated another church. I have never been to another church service. And this fall, when the weather gets worse, I expect to take the kids with me to other churches. I have told him this. I think he’s waiting to call my bluff.

Hagoth wrote:
Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:54 am
The secret is helping them get to the point where they understand that what you want and need, personally and as a couple, is more important than what the COB wants and needs. And that ain't easy.
No, it’s not!
Vlad the Emailer wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:14 am

It's been several days since you posted. I hope you'll return and report.
I like to think this stuff over a lot before I post again, I second guess whatever I’m going to say, then the comments pile up and it feels like a slog to respond to them all – but I am so glad for everyone who responded!

Vlad the Emailer wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:14 am
There are obviously a lot of ways to go about this, as you can see with the great advice here, but if you're at the very starting point with your DH I like the idea of basically going on a voyage of discovery together.

For example, if it was me starting this all over with my DW I might mention that the LBGT ban reminded me somewhat of the priesthood ban and so I came upon that particular essay on lds.org. I would explain how astonished I was to learn that regardless of all that was said about that issue over the years, the church was now saying it was just a mistake made by BY, and never came from God. I would wonder aloud how God could allow His true prophet to alter His true church in this fashion and wouldn't just tell him, "no that is what you want, but it isn't the church of Brigham Young and every worthy male can have the priesthood in My church".

An issue like that brings up major questions about the legitimacy of prophets, and you can introduce it as something that concerns you and ask what he thinks. A heavy shelf item brought up innocently.
Yes, we had some good conversations about this stuff after listening to Daymon Smith’s interview on Mormon Stories. The apostasy lesson in Gospel Doctrine was also extremely beneficial for discussion. We discussed it before class, and during class DH made a comment, and was gently shot down by the teacher. I just smiled and said, “You can’t blame him. He’s been correlated!” :D

It's a long game. It just gets frustrating at times.
The true opposite of order is not disorder but freedom. Most profoundly, the true opposite of control is not chaos but self-control. -Jay Griffiths

User avatar
Red Ryder
Posts: 925
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:45 pm

MerrieMiss wrote:And like you, I just want him to accept that this is the way I am. I don’t know how much of a deal breaker that is. I mean, I don’t think he cares what I believe. I do think he cares what I do. And this creates a problem. I was willing to follow every Mormon rule/commandment/social nicety when I was figuring things out. But now that I have come to the conclusion that it’s all made up, those things has no meaning whatsoever; it’s so arbitrary - rules for the sake of rules because someone says so. But DH doesn’t see it that way – he sees me wanting to wear normal underwear or skip church and thinks that is the cause of the disaffection, when it’s exactly the opposite.
^^This!!! If only I could get my wife to understand this!!

I'm borrowing...
Elder Nelson seems to have somehow become the mouthpiece of the mouthpiece of God. ~ Hagoth

User avatar
Linked
Posts: 459
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:04 pm

Re: How to have the talk

Post by Linked » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:26 am

MerrieMiss wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:15 pm
And like you, I just want him to accept that this is the way I am. I don’t know how much of a deal breaker that is. I mean, I don’t think he cares what I believe. I do think he cares what I do. And this creates a problem. I was willing to follow every Mormon rule/commandment/social nicety when I was figuring things out. But now that I have come to the conclusion that it’s all made up, those things has no meaning whatsoever; it’s so arbitrary - rules for the sake of rules because someone says so. But DH doesn’t see it that way – he sees me wanting to wear normal underwear or skip church and thinks that is the cause of the disaffection, when it’s exactly the opposite.
I used a story to get this point across with DW the other night, and I think it worked, if you would like to use it or similar feel free. The story can be told from either spouse's perspective, I'll use a man since your DH is a man.
There was a man who found out his wife cheated on him and he divorced her. After the divorce he noticed some things that he was glad were gone; her hair didn't clog the shower drain anymore, he didn't feel like he had to put the toilet seat down, there weren't a million hair items all over the bathroom counter, he could watch football as much as he wanted, (your thing you know he doesn't like or would like to do more of). So he likes that he can watch more football, but did he get divorced because he wanted to watch more football?
Then you can get into what you felt was the analog for cheating by the church. For me it was that it seems more likely that it was made up than that it was true when I took a step back and looked at it impartially.

MerrieMiss wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:15 pm
I like to think this stuff over a lot before I post again, I second guess whatever I’m going to say, then the comments pile up and it feels like a slog to respond to them all – but I am so glad for everyone who responded!
I hear you. Thanks for replying, we are all cheering for you.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest