Spouse needs to talk about the gospel.

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.
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Spouse needs to talk about the gospel.

Post by 20/20hind » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:20 am

My wife is a believer and I overheard her tell my daughter who is away at school that she misses having her to talk about spiritual things because i dont at all. Which is true, I dont talk to her about it because i dislike the church. I dont talk negatively about it. Im just indifferent to it. Im much happier when i dont have anything to do with it all.

I think this is really impacting her more than i think. What should i do? We have a great marriage other wise. But she is all about the church and I'm completely the opposite.

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Re: Spouse needs to talk about the gospel.

Post by alas » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:18 pm

Maybe I am not the best example, but I still talk about church stuff to my believing husband. I have to be careful not to be too negative. But, like when he comes home from church, I ask him how it was and he will talk about the talks, both what was inspiring and what he didn’t enjoy. Like yesterday, he said one talk was really good and talked about carrying guilt we don’t need to carry. The speaker used a recent hike to the top of a local hill as analogy. He told about the things he carried that he didn’t need to have and how that only made the hike harder. He mentioned several layers of clothing he didn’t need, but carried in case it got cold, and a water purifying kit. I said, “there’s no weather up there.” Then DH added, “and the daytime temperature hasn’t gotten below 60 since last March.” So, I commented, “He’s not from around here is he.” And we both laughed because we live near St George, and it is desert. But then I added, “but maybe that ties back to carrying around guilt that we have already repented of, because if you think about it, you KNOW you don’t need to carry it.” Then he said he tuned out the next talk because she went into a long Bruce McConkie talk, and I don’t even remember the point he said was ridiculous, but he said he tuned her out after that and checked Facebook.

When I was attending with him, we might have had the same conversation on the way home, but, then I guess I never was what you could call a believer because I think I went NOM before baptism at 8 11/12 see, I resisted baptism until my grandmother had a FIT. But, I never discussed we DH that I didn’t believe the whole Joseph Smith stuff until the last several years. So, after 48 years of marriage in a mixed faith marriage, he knows what I find spiritually uplifting, and he has grown weary of Joseph Smith worship.

The trick is to treat it the same way you do her hobbies, or her shopping, or her job. You are not at all interested in that stuff, but she is and you are interested in her, so you ask her about it. If you went through a time of fighting about it, she won’t trust you at first, but gradually as you learn detachment from church, you can get her talking about it and share that part of her life from a bit of a distance just like you do with other things about her. Just start asking questions and listen to her as if you love her more than you hate the church.

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Re: Spouse needs to talk about the gospel.

Post by MerrieMiss » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:01 am

In my experience, it's easy to talk to my husband about church stuff because all he wants to talk about isn't very involved. How was church? How was your meeting? Did you learn anything? What was your lesson about? Piece of cake.

Not to pigeonhole the genders, but when I talk to Mormon women, it's much more difficult because they want to bear testimony, or talk about the influence of Satan or the HG, talk about a special witness, something special they read in the BoM, and so on. It's not just women though - my FIL is like that too. I find those kinds of discussions difficult to participate in because other than nodding and smiling, I have nowhere to go with that. I have not found a way to connect well in these situations. It's got to be tough when it's a spouse.

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Re: Spouse needs to talk about the gospel.

Post by Hagoth » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:04 pm

I have reached a point where I can talk about church stuff without dark clouds forming over my head. I just talk to Mrs. Hagoth about church things the same way I would talk to her if she were Episcopalian or something. I mostly listen and give positive comments about positive things when I hear them. I call BS when it is blatant and bite my tongue when there's no need to rain on somebody's parade.

I really have a hard time when people start talking about Satan. For some reason God's ways are mysterious but everyone seems to know exactly what Satan's schemes are and quick to point out how easily we fall into his traps. They might as well be talking about the Grinch as far as I'm concerned. ?

Anyway, when really heavy churchy stuff comes up I just remind her that I don't know the ultimate answers as well as some people seem to think they do, that I don't think the church has the best answers, and that I intend to keep looking and not be satisfied with "official" answers that don't work for me. But it seldom gets that deep. It's usually about talks, lessons, and musical numbers, ministering, temple attendance, etc, and a lot of those have positive aspects.

Last week I used the Buddhist parable of the raft to explain my attitude: A guy comes to a river. He needs to get to the other side so he builds a raft and crosses. Now what does he do with the raft? His choices are to give up on his journey and stay with the raft that he worked so hard on, to drag the raft along with him, which will significantly impede his progress, or to leave the raft behind and continue on his quest. I think the symbolism as it relates to the church is obvious.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Spouse needs to talk about the gospel.

Post by alas » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:36 am

Last night my husband and I got into the deep stuff. So, yes you can get there. I think once the NOM is over being angry and can admit that they really don’t know that everything Mormonism teaches is wrong, and the TBM gets to the point where they can say, “if God is loving and just, he won’t punish someone for doing their best, even if their best takes them out of Mormonism,” and trusts you enough to see you are honest about your issues with the church. This takes time. For you to resolve the anger, and get non defensive about being a wicked apostate. It takes YOU knowing that you are not a wicked apostate and that just takes time for you to adjust to your new status. It takes time for you to prove that not believing in Mormonism does mean you are going to stop loving your family, start doing drugs and having drinking and sex orgies. You and your spouse need to learn who you are now.

The last couple of years, my husband knows more about how I feel about God than he ever did when I was trying to be the good Mormon. We have reached the point where we can be fully honest, without any defensiveness. Some of that is my sweety’s doing because when I was in the angry stage, after deciding that the church isn’t as good as any other church, but is abusive, my husband refused to argue. He didn’t preach or try to force me back into religion. And he refused to argue. So, a few years later, after I have proven I am not becoming a degenerate or deplorable and that I am not trying to convince him to leave, we can talk about any aspect of it. Things like why DD#2 turned pagan after being the most religiously Mormon of our children. For him to talk about that, he needed to see that some problems in the church are real. Things like why DD#1 is antiMormon. Things like how is God going to judge president Nelson on his treatment of gays. Things like why I can’t accept the BoM as history, and how it can be perfectly OK if Joseph Smith did steal ideas from all over the place, and can he still be a prophet if he plagiarized his ideas from other men while claiming they came from God? Yeah, we have some deep, NOMish discussions. And I can explain to him why I want him to stay LDS, and then flip the discussion upside down and talk about how I would feel if he left the church.

But it takes time.

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Re: Spouse needs to talk about the gospel.

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:38 am

When I was in the midst of being NOM with my DW still TBM, here is what I did that really helped her/us: Take a Sunday off once in a while to go on a short trip out to somewhere awesome in the outdoors. Share some moments with her out away from the church that are purely spiritual and not jaded LDS spiritual. It can be a tool to help her begin to dissociate spirituality as something that we can have independent of the church. It's something that helped my DW see that Sundays can be so much more enjoyable and relaxing without the church.

I'll never forget when DW and went out to the Bonneville Salt Flats and stayed over night Saturday to Sunday. The sunset that night was spectacular and when the stars and Milky Way came out and were reflecting off some standing water out there, she even got emotional and said it was spiritual experience and that now she understood why I wanted to spend so much time out in these places.

Eventually she was the one to suggest we take a Sunday off, blow off church and go out and see something awesome. There's so many places that are 4 hours or less from our home where we can go, some just out into the middle of the desert, away from crowds of people in the national parks. Being our in nature, no magic here really, is scientifically proven to significantly improve help mental health. It's hella better than that 3 hour block of indoctrination!

So if you can, get you and your DW out there on some adventures, just far enough away from home to not go to church on Sundays. Ease into it then see if you can increase the frequency. Get her away from the city lights to see the stars. I don't know where you are located, but I have a big list of really cool places in Utah and the surrounding states that I can recommend. Not everyone is a tent camper, my DW was not at first, but she loves it now, at least overnights. Those are the cheap and easy way to go, but I also try to mix it up with more vacation oriented trips; this weekend we head to San Diego to hang out on the beaches and enjoy the ocean at a nice hotel.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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Re: Spouse needs to talk about the gospel.

Post by jfro18 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:29 pm

I'm looking forward to getting to the point where we can talk about church stuff without it blowing up the moment a detail is mentioned that is unanswerable.

I know from reading here that takes time, so that is encouraging to think it gets better, but the last month has just been awful...

Sometimes I think "why does this bother me so much" and then I read something the church is doing like POX or read some new historical thing and just want to burn it all down. I'd like to think that's normal too but it's just helpful when DW has no interest in hearing anything beyond surface issues that she can seek out some just awful apologetic sites for.

Maybe RMN will keep doing these stupid things and it will finally weigh on her, but so far I am fairly certain my few comments during our prior discussions about how his revelation is nothing like we were taught revelation to be is not even registering with her.

It's also really hard to talk about the Bible because I just do not view that the same as I did. I find value in Jesus' teachings, but the truth is that the big Bible stories just don't hold up either... and I just don't even want to get into that with her when shes asks what I do believe.

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