DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

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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jfro18
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DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by jfro18 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:45 pm

I haven't spoken a word about the church to my wife in over a month since she brought up some of the stuff I had written about the priesthood, but it came up today.

I recently saw a therapist for the first time ever to talk through my issues with the church and how DW doesn't want to know what I've found out, etc.

She said she's been working on getting an appointment with LDS family services for therapy. I assume that's going to just push further the "doubt your doubts" and ignore the doubter while keeping a healthy marriage, etc. That weirds me out a ton, but I know I don't have any say in the matter

In addition, she wants our six year old going back to church because next year it's just two hours now. So the two hour block has somehow managed to screw me over. :lol:

I just feel like I'm at a breaking point here. I can't talk about my issues with the church, but I also have to just accept that it's going to be a part of my kid's life. My wife constantly tells me she would want to know, yet whenever I bring it up I'm immediately shut down. She today at least freely admitted that my facts don't have any power over her feelings.

Just venting... been a rough one and I am just about out of hope. I know I've pushed a lot the last 6 months to try and get her to go over this stuff with me, but she pushed me into this church 20+ years ago and I never questioned her one bit.

I brought up a few small things today and she was like "No, that's wrong" and when I explained why it wasn't she just said it didn't matter. And I know I was there once... I just can't come to peace with it. I do a lot w/ politics and this reminds me of how voters currently are where it's strictly emotionally based with no place with facts.

Sorry for venting. Anyone ever had any experience with LDS family services as to how they approach these things?

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Linked
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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by Linked » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:11 pm

I'm not sure if I have any good advice, but I sympathize with your situation. If my wife had her druthers we would never speak of church again, I would just go and silently endure each Sunday, while she silently endures my occasional unorthopraxy. Limbo is better for her than any of her other options if I will not return to belief.

It is good that your DW wants to talk. I don't know the situation, but talking and communication are important for relationships. She may only want to fix you; I hope that's not the case.

I recommend going to LDS family services willingly and try to be friendly, open, and honest. I've heard some LDS therapists are ok. If the one you go to is, then great. If not, then when they do crazy things you need to be the sane one; friendly, open and honest. After the meeting discuss the therapy session with your DW; if the therapist was manipulative and unreasonable, hopefully your DW will have noticed and it will be a win for both of you. If the therapist is good, then that's good too.
"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

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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by Thoughtful » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:38 pm

Caution: LDSFS requires a confidentiality release that gives your bishop access to everything you talk about. Find a therapist not affiliated with LDSFS and not paid by your ward if possible.

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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by jfro18 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:42 pm

Thoughtful wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:38 pm
Caution: LDSFS requires a confidentiality release that gives your bishop access to everything you talk about. Find a therapist not affiliated with LDSFS and not paid by your ward if possible.
I don't think she'd mind that - she truly feels that they all have only her best interests in mind. 😞

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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by moksha » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:14 am

Thoughtful wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:38 pm
Caution: LDSFS requires a confidentiality release that gives your bishop access to everything you talk about.
Wonder how accrediting boards for the various therapeutic disciplines are able to rationalize this? Probably not a problem in Utah, but elsewhere it would seem to be at odds with their code of ethics.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by Just This Guy » Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:32 am

When you do visit this therapist, maybe start with getting to know them first and their qualification/bias.

I would ask them some questions about their professional training. Where did they go to school? What exactly did they go to school for? Are they licensed? If they don't have good credentials, then find a new councilor.

Then I would as some hypothetical questions about how they would council someone in a non-LDS setting. How would they council a couple who is Baptist and Lutheran for example? Then maybe look at it from a more extreme example of a Catholic and a Scientologist. How would they handle someone in a cult setup.

The idea here is that you can establish a baseline for how they would help someone. When you get into talking about your marriage and if they pull the LDS card, you can call them out on it.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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jfro18
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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by jfro18 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:43 am

She's OK with going with me to see the therapist I found locally who has nothing to do with any faith... so maybe by doing that we can avoid LDS family services for now.

Not sure how helpful it will be, but I'd much rather start there than with LDS family services.

I remember being on the other side so I guess I have some perspective of it, but it's just so depressing to watch people you love flat out refuse to even consider facts when they've been told their whole life the "feelings" are from God.

There's that hope therapy might help to open up her mind, but I doubt it... this is just our lives now.

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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by Thoughtful » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:06 pm

moksha wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:14 am
Thoughtful wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:38 pm
Caution: LDSFS requires a confidentiality release that gives your bishop access to everything you talk about.
Wonder how accrediting boards for the various therapeutic disciplines are able to rationalize this? Probably not a problem in Utah, but elsewhere it would seem to be at odds with their code of ethics.
If you sign informed consent, they can share. If you don't sign, the bishop can refuse to pay. The ethics boards regulate the therapist, not the bishop/payor.

It's routine for a payor to know, for example the dates you're seen and for what services. Specifics of therapy? Not so much. But some bishops don't pay unless you agree to sharing up to everything.

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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by Reuben » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:35 am

jfro18 wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:43 am
I remember being on the other side so I guess I have some perspective of it, but it's just so depressing to watch people you love flat out refuse to even consider facts when they've been told their whole life the "feelings" are from God.

There's that hope therapy might help to open up her mind, but I doubt it... this is just our lives now.
Two things.

First, is her considering the facts the only condition under which you will be happy your marriage?

Second, it sounds like you want to recruit the therapist onto your side in your arguments against the church. Whether you're successful at this or not, I can't see it going well for you.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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jfro18
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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by jfro18 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:09 am

Reuben wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:35 am
Two things.

First, is her considering the facts the only condition under which you will be happy your marriage?
For me, I just want to be able to go over this stuff with her. We have a more complicated church life than some (she kind of pushed me into converting 20 years ago and a lot of it was being told things that I now know are simply not true), so on some level I just want to be able to sit down and have a discussion on these things since she clearly doesn't know them. That also spills over into trying to keep my kid out of church at least until he's old enough to be able to get a more rounded picture before being indoctrinated.
Reuben wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:35 am
Second, it sounds like you want to recruit the therapist onto your side in your arguments against the church. Whether you're successful at this or not, I can't see it going well for you.
The opposite on this - I want someone neutral and not church related. I am nervous that an LDS family services person would further the wedge we've got right now, where a neutral person might be more helpful for us both in setting goals that are fair to both of us aren't based on BoM scriptures.

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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by Arcturus » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:21 pm

Really sucks jfro18. I'm really fortunate in that my DW came to an understanding of the issues pretty quick. Hoping you all the best...

Interestingly, my DW really wasn't interested in much of anything for a while, even serious doctrinal nuances didn't bother her. But maybe by chance or something else, she listened to Dehlin's interview with Tom Phillips and that was the episode that changed her worldview. Her TBM-NOM-postMormon transition was insanely quick.

I think Tom is fascinating because he sounds like a faithful TBM in the very beginning and IMO, has a tone that suggests he kind of misses his TBM days. But then he transitions into the hard issues... I think he (unintentionally) captivates the TBM listener because he really is a cool dude and a TBM can relate with everything he says, and then he transitions into the issues and articulates things so well. And in the end, it's a heart-wrenching story to hear how he loses his family. My dad also withstood me for a long time (over a year), calling me uninformed and the like, and that I'd regret my decisions. After listening to Tom's interview, he was hooked and is now consuming podcast after podcast, consistent with the typical FC path...

Dunno how open your DW would be to having a listen. As for the counseling, I don't have any opinion worthwhile that could help. Other than I feel for you and hope things can stay afloat, and work out down the road.
“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
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jfro18
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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by jfro18 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:39 pm

Arcturus wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:21 pm
Really sucks jfro18. I'm really fortunate in that my DW came to an understanding of the issues pretty quick. Hoping you all the best...

Dunno how open your DW would be to having a listen. As for the counseling, I don't have any opinion worthwhile that could help. Other than I feel for you and hope things can stay afloat, and work out down the road.
Thank you - you post makes me feel better as weird as that might sound.

She's aware of the issues on the surface, but not in any depth which allows for the apologetics to do their thing. To make a long story short, my awful handling of this at first (as everyone seems to do) of just spitting it all out at once made her retrench. She then went straight to FAIR to see their rebuttal to the CES Letter (which she said she would read and later said she spent about 10 minutes skimming through) and then went to more antagonistic sites like conflictofjustice (don't get me started there).

I would kill for her to listen to some podcasts, but I think she's so defensive right now that she won't even consider it. And she's aware of Dehlin being exed so I think that would turn her away even though at the time of that podcast he was still kind of talking the middle way approach on Mormonism (I think).

I've made the running jokes now for about 3-3.5 years (not church related, but politics) that facts don't matter and variations of the "facts don't care about your feelings" line. The other day she mentioned that and said that she knows I feel that way, but that she just doesn't believe I have all the answers and that she doesn't want to look due to her feelings.

It's a tough thing, and as I said I was pushed into the church by her and her parents 20 years ago... so it makes things a little more complicated and I feel a little more lost and misled than maybe I would've if I was born in the church.

We'll see what happens -- I am hoping that in some way we'll figure something out. She told me to stop hoping that she will ever be open to talking with me about this stuff, but I just can't bring myself to do it yet. From the many Mormon Stories podcasts and others I know that so many people have the same experience she is having now before they finally start looking... and I know I'm expecting a lot from her, but they expected a lot from me 20 years ago.

Anyway - sorry to ramble on again. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement... it helps. Working at home is usually great, but when things are screwy it's bad because I have not much to take my mind off it. I'm marathoning shows on Hulu which helps though. :lol:

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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by Emower » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:51 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:39 pm
We'll see what happens -- I am hoping that in some way we'll figure something out. She told me to stop hoping that she will ever be open to talking with me about this stuff, but I just can't bring myself to do it yet. From the many Mormon Stories podcasts and others I know that so many people have the same experience she is having now before they finally start looking... and I know I'm expecting a lot from her, but they expected a lot from me 20 years ago.
Its funny how in this situation a person needs to say very little for someone else in the same boat to know exactly how you feel. That being said, I know how you feel man. My wife, bless her soul, has made an effort to listen to me. Consequently, it has ruined a lot of the church for her. It has not, "opened her eyes to the truth." It has only made things kind of difficult for her because, due to her feelings, she still wants to participate. That is really hard for her now when she knows how I feel, she knows why I feel that way, and she really does sympathize with why I feel that way. But at the end of the day, facts dont drive her feelings and she recognizes that she wants to participate for reasons independent of those facts.

You and I probably will figure something out, but its not going to be quick, it is not going to be clean, and it is not going to be ideal for anyone.

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Emower
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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by Emower » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:54 pm

On the matter of a therapist I cant say. I feel like they will just try and get both parties to compromise, and we were not raised to think about compromising on spiritual stuff. Maybe that is why we should go to therapy I suppose.

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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by jfro18 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:48 am

Emower wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:51 pm
Its funny how in this situation a person needs to say very little for someone else in the same boat to know exactly how you feel. That being said, I know how you feel man. My wife, bless her soul, has made an effort to listen to me. Consequently, it has ruined a lot of the church for her. It has not, "opened her eyes to the truth." It has only made things kind of difficult for her because, due to her feelings, she still wants to participate. That is really hard for her now when she knows how I feel, she knows why I feel that way, and she really does sympathize with why I feel that way. But at the end of the day, facts dont drive her feelings and she recognizes that she wants to participate for reasons independent of those facts.

You and I probably will figure something out, but its not going to be quick, it is not going to be clean, and it is not going to be ideal for anyone.
For me this board has been so helpful in all of this. Reddit is just so much angrier that it is really difficult to read that and then fall back into the reality of both what I've felt and then dealing with my wife who is still a strong TBM.

So yeah -- I think a few of us are in this same boat and can at least commiserate here about it. I don't think for me I've ruined the church for her at all yet besides knowing that everything she does has caused me pain in it. But that's not really helpful to either of us.

I think at some point everyone figures it out, but for me right now I feel like I'm stuck in a no-win situation. Either we stay together and we both resent the fact that the thing she finds so important in her life I believe to be a harmful fraud, or we split and have a kid to deal with and lives to pick back up.

I can't get her to even listen to the problems, but I know I can't force it. So hopefully therapy opens that up a little either to get her thinking about this differently, get me thinking about this differently, or finding a solution to either ignore it or realize it's never getting better.

Sucks all around and I hate this church for putting so many families in this situation.

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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:58 pm

jfro18 wrote:I can't get her to even listen to the problems, but I know I can't force it. So hopefully therapy opens that up a little either to get her thinking about this differently, get me thinking about this differently, or finding a solution to either ignore it or realize it's never getting better.
I'm 100% for therapy. We did a solid year and it probably saved the marriage as I was ready to walk. Our therapist was LDS but not a part of LDS Family Services. Private practice. She was unbiased and from the beginning and said it wasn't her job to provide church counseling but rather provide marriage counseling. Then she asked if my faith transition was a deal breaker for either of us. We both said no. She said, good then let's focus on how to build a better relationship. She used a lot of Gottman material and focused on emotional focused therapy. Google Gottman Sound Relationship House.

The magic sauce was learning how to communicate, turning towards each other during conflict, and repairing the relationship after conflict. There's always going to be some type of conflict in a marriage. It's learning how to work through it by communicating, showing empathy, and repairing and healing.

The secret to our success was spending time each night asking 2 simple questions:

1. What was the best part of your day?
2. What could have gone better?

At first, the answer to #2 was always focused on "well you said this, or you did that,blah blah blah..." As we learned to validate and show empathy, It quickly shifted away from each other and towards outside influences or things we were working through with kids, work, schedules.

After about three weeks of this she had us add 2 more questions to our nightly check ins.

#3 How is our emotional connection?
#4 How is our physical/sexual connection?

This is where things completely turned around. She felt emotionally connected, which made her feel safe, which in turn made her feel physically/sexually connected. Then I started to feel physically/sexually connected which in turn made me more emotionally connected. At this point we begun to spiral up and I can honestly say things have been really good now for over a year.

Mixed faith marriages can work when you realize that you both sacrifice something and there's a gap that you learn to build a bridge over. Now this doesn't mean it's perfect. She still wears funny underwear that deep down bothers me like no other but I've learned to recognize it could be worse.

So my advice is to let go of convincing her that Mormonism is a fraud and spend your emotional capital convincing her you're a pretty decent guy she still wants to love and sleep with! Be fun and attractive. Don't be angry anti-mormon. That's unattractive to the Mormons we share a bed with.

I'm more than happy to talk about our experience if you would like on the phone.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Mormorrisey
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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by Mormorrisey » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:12 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:58 pm
The magic sauce was learning how to communicate, turning towards each other during conflict, and repairing the relationship after conflict. There's always going to be some type of conflict in a marriage. It's learning how to work through it by communicating, showing empathy, and repairing and healing.
I can't emphasize enough how important this is. Once the both of you realize the relationship is more important than anything, including the church, both your challenges with it and her defence of it, that's when the process RR describes here can start to kick in.

Unfortunately there's been some turnover at our local LDS family services, and I don't particularly trust the new crew, so that's not an avenue for me and the missus, so we have been doing this on our own. I'd love to have a ref, a neutral third party to help, it's just not in the cards as she refuses to go anywhere but LDS family services. But as RR says, communication, empathy and healing are the answers. And we have challenges beyond the church, our own dysfunctional families, and that baggage has been around for decades, that we have to work on as well. We do the best we can without therapy, but I would love to go. Finding an LDS therapist would be useful - the only ones around here are "official" Family Services people, but if you're in the Morridor, it might be easier.
Red Ryder wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:58 pm

So my advice is to let go of convincing her that Mormonism is a fraud and spend your emotional capital convincing her you're a pretty decent guy she still wants to love and sleep with! Be fun and attractive. Don't be angry anti-mormon. That's unattractive to the Mormons we share a bed with.
Again, can't quote this enough. Apathy to all things Mormon has saved my marriage. It wasn't pretty for about 3-4 years as I went through the angry stage, but the last two have been much better. And she's tried to have empathy too, so when we both work on things, our marriage is pretty strong. I think what it's done for the wife, not having the church in common, is to try to figure out why she stays with me - and I better give her some compelling reasons.
"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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jfro18
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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by jfro18 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:17 pm

Thanks guys!

I know I'm still in that "angry" stage which doesn't help and she's also in a very retrenched stage... it's not a good combo for productive conversation or finding common ground with regards to how we handle the church with our little one.

We'll see what therapy does - first appointment is in two weeks, but I know it will take a while before we really get anywhere.

It's both nice that others have gone through it and can give advice, and sad that we have to go through this because the church can't live up to its own truth claims. But hopefully everyone finds some way to make it work, and hopefully someday the spirit will guide the spouses to the truth. :lol:

aoirselvar
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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by aoirselvar » Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:44 am

I just have to say thank you guys for this thread. I’m going through a lot of what you guys have or are going through. My wife and I are in a pretty good place, but I am kind of in an angry stage as well. I’ve just mostly kept it to myself since I figure it’s not going to do any good airing it out loud. I have tried really hard to follow advice I found earlier on this site, that is to not try to convince my wife and just show her beliefs the kind of respect I hope to have shown to mine.

My wife is in a stage where she finds a lot of problems with Mormon culture but still believes the gospel to be 100% true. And she told me probably the best thing I can get from a very very TBM wife, that she prayed about it and that God loves me and everything is going to be okay. I’ve heard that’s about the best your going to get when in this situation.


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Re: DW wants to see LDS Family Services - Feel like I'm at a breaking point

Post by Hagoth » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:27 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:48 am
I can't get her to even listen to the problems, but I know I can't force it.
What that says to me is that she knows that at least some of the problems are genuine and that she's afraid she won't be able to deal with them. If she was entirely certain about her feelings versus the facts she wouldn't have to run from them. If therapy can lubricate the communication channels enough for her to admit that to herself it might defuse the situation.

Also, she needs to feel safe. If she thinks lowering her guard will result in a barrage of scary information she will try to keep the shields at full power. Once my wife felt comfortable that I wasn't waiting to pounce at every opportunity we were able to talk about just about anything. She discovered that she could recognize BS in the church without having to give up beliefs that are important to her.
“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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