Help for TBM-lite spouse?

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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profit_seizer
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Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by profit_seizer » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:39 pm

DW is not a TBM, more like a liberal with a liberal view of the church, but she's really sad that I left the church. Like devastated. She feels really alone. Is there anyone out here who is out of the church and has a good relationship with a spouse who is still in the church? If so please respond and let's get our spouses in contact with one another. Thanks.
"The history of human thought recalls the swinging of a pendulum which takes centuries to swing. After a long period of slumber comes a moment of awakening." —Peter Kropotkin

aoirselvar
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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by aoirselvar » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:47 pm

You’re in the right place. Many of us are in varying levels of what you are saying. Like a ton of us consider ourselves NOM because of our TBM spouses. I still go to church with my TBM wife to help with the kids and because church is a big deal in her life. We are in the process of redefining our relationship. I am working hard at respecting her beliefs and ask for the same in return and we are trying to focus on mutually held principles (family, service, being a good person, etc) things are going well, but we are still dealing with a couple of rocky areas. It’s very much a process, but if you both are fighting for each other you can make it happen.


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Hagoth
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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by Hagoth » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:20 am

In my situation thoughtful compromise has been very helpful. And we have taken it very slowly. She knows I don't believe any of it and I speak up on issues that really bother me but I try to be generally positive otherwise. I usually go to sacrament meeting with her and skip the other things. She sometimes goes to my things. We've tried a couple of other churches and I settled on a non-religious Sunday community. She's skipping church today to go with me to listen to Savannah (of switched-off microphone fame). I have found it helpful to encourage her in things that make her feel good about herself regardless of whether they're church related or not. I have noticed lately that she is more likely to point out boneheaded moves by the church than I am. Often I will casually direct her attention to something without judgement or comment and let her be the one who puts context on it.

The truth is that everyone runs into things that really challenge their testimony. It might be next week and it might be years away, but you need to be there to catch them in a way that lets them work through it without feeling threatened, without a backlash, and without an easy apologetic out. My wife has not hit a fatal wall yet but we have seen her through a number of toe-stubbers in which she has ended up going with her own moral compass rather than simply bowing to the High Sheriffs.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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IT_Veteran
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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by IT_Veteran » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:12 am

A little different since it wasn’t a spousal relationship, but my younger brother was a hell of an exmo ambassador. He was out for almost twenty years before me.

He never criticized my faith, he never made me feel stupid for believing. He’d point out problems with how LGBTQ people are judged and harassed by society at large, never focusing on the church or faith.

When I left the church he was entirely gracious. There were no “I told you so” remarks or anything but love and encouragement. Most often, he’d just ask me how I was doing with navigating everything.

I think being a safe person to talk to, without judgment or condemnation, is the best way to help someone navigate this. I have been far worse at it than he was.

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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by jfro18 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:55 pm

You're in a good place to hear about relationships surviving the church... at least one here it appears that in some cases both leave, in some cases one leaves and the other becomes more NOM-ish, in some cases (mine so far) one leaves and the other doubles down, etc, etc.

I don't have any advice personally since I'm still going through it, just to not do the 'word salad' attacking the church from every angle as I did initially and so many others do. Facts don't matter until the other person is ready for them, so if you want to connect about the church it has to be done from an emotional standpoint.

Last, I don't know your wife's views, but I know my wife has zero interest in listening to other spouses of the people who have left. I think to a certain extent it makes it more real, and she doesn't trust it when I'm the one offering those conversations. You could try seeing if she might listen to some of the mixed faith marriage Mormon Stories podcasts, but again those get into details on problems with the church which might turn her off immediately to the idea.

Anyway - I know that's not a ton of help, but just to say that this can go one of 1,000 ways... you'll have to proceed lightly and see where you can connect and where you need to (for me) stay away.

Feel free to post updates here and we can all give advice especially as you make progress (or take steps backwards)... a lot of people have gone through it successfully so there's reason to hope even if it might get worse before it gets better. :)

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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by profit_seizer » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:20 pm

Well this morning I thought I'd surprise DW by coming with everyone to church, but it turns out that made her upset (the reasoning being that if I can come to church to be with them sometimes, does that mean when I don't come I *don't* want to be with them?) It's confusing, folks, and I'm still trucking along. I'm in therapy, she's going back to therapy, and we should be getting into couple therapy in the new year. (there are other issues that are 100% my fault, and some that are both of us)
"The history of human thought recalls the swinging of a pendulum which takes centuries to swing. After a long period of slumber comes a moment of awakening." —Peter Kropotkin

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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by jfro18 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:24 pm

Sorry you're having a rough time -- I hope you find some success with couples therapy. It's slow going on my end but hopefully it at least helps clear up the long term goals to work towards.

Keep posting here when you need to vent - it's helped me a lot to have an outlet since I can't bring up most of this to DW... it's nice to have somewhere to get it out.

Good luck!

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MalcolmVillager
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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by MalcolmVillager » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:44 pm

There is a FB page for mixed faith mormon marriages. It can work.

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profit_seizer
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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by profit_seizer » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:54 pm

She just feels so lonely. I'm trying to be such a good husband but every time I goof up a little bit it sure feels like it's devastating to her. She doesn't feel like she has anyone to talk to about being an active wife of an exmormon husband. Any advice? Any exmo guys out there who think their active wife would like to talk to mine? Any help?
"The history of human thought recalls the swinging of a pendulum which takes centuries to swing. After a long period of slumber comes a moment of awakening." —Peter Kropotkin

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jfro18
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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by jfro18 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:17 pm

profit_seizer wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:54 pm
She just feels so lonely. I'm trying to be such a good husband but every time I goof up a little bit it sure feels like it's devastating to her. She doesn't feel like she has anyone to talk to about being an active wife of an exmormon husband. Any advice? Any exmo guys out there who think their active wife would like to talk to mine? Any help?
I think this is pretty common, sadly. It's tough for the believing spouse to talk to people in the church about it, and it's tough for the people who leave to find people to talk to that understand.

My wife I think has taken that to find more aggressive sources to read and interact with, which I guess is the opposite of here with me finding a group here I can talk to about the problems with the church. It's not a healthy setup though and I wish I had an outlet I could steer her towards that she would actually consider.

Have you ever tried recommending some of the Mormon Stories podcasts with mixed faith marriages? I think some of them are pretty good at giving both perspectives and how people are making it work when the believing spouse does not leave at some point. I can look some up if you've never listened to any of them before - it's been a while for me but there are some good ones.

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profit_seizer
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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by profit_seizer » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:49 pm

I'd be willing to listen but I seriously don't she'd put in the earbuds for John Dehlin. But if you do remember which ones, at least I'd like to have a listen.
"The history of human thought recalls the swinging of a pendulum which takes centuries to swing. After a long period of slumber comes a moment of awakening." —Peter Kropotkin

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jfro18
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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by jfro18 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:29 am

profit_seizer wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:49 pm
I'd be willing to listen but I seriously don't she'd put in the earbuds for John Dehlin. But if you do remember which ones, at least I'd like to have a listen.
It's been a while since I've listened to these so maybe you would want to listen to them before passing them along... also keep in mind that many Mormon Stories podcasts are insanely slow moving so I usually skip the intro parts and try to get to the faith crisis and aftermath parts.

https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/family-ties/

https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/a ... on-jolley/

https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/e ... le-harris/

https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/m ... stu-brown/

There are others but I remember listening to these. Again they are long so you might want to note the "interesting" parts if you ever do want to pass them along. :)

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slavereeno
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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by slavereeno » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:29 am

profit_seizer wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:54 pm
She just feels so lonely. I'm trying to be such a good husband but every time I goof up a little bit it sure feels like it's devastating to her. She doesn't feel like she has anyone to talk to about being an active wife of an exmormon husband. Any advice? Any exmo guys out there who think their active wife would like to talk to mine? Any help?
I think my DW could really, really empathize with your DW, because that is very much how she felt/feels. Its tough to find someone they are willing to open up to. My DW doesn't want to talk to anybody in or out of the church. Unfortunately, for me I can only see this as a big negative of the church, that it makes its members fear those who doubt or leave so much, that the doubter will be perceived (subconsciously?) as being "infected". This creates an unavoidable enmity between the doubter and the believer.

I ended up coming out to a sister and my parents about 8 months ago and things are weird now. My Dad is deathly afraid of what might come out of my mouth and follows me around at family parties to mitigate the damage I might do.

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MerrieMiss
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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by MerrieMiss » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:47 pm

One of the things my husband was most upset about when I told him I didn't believe was that he was alone and couldn't talk to anyone about it. On his own he searched out a few Mormon Stories podcasts, I'm not sure which ones and I don't know that they were helpful since he doesn't say much.

My biggest criticism of the MS podcasts, and I would be happy to be wrong about this, is that the "mixed-faith" podcasts aren't really about mixed-faith marriages in the here and now - they are marriages where there was a mixed-faith element for a time, but ultimately both people are out of the church, one way or another. This isn't very useful for those of us with believing spouses. What they see is a mixed-faith marriage where the non-believer eventually "wins" when the TBM comes to realize the church isn't true. I can see the difficulty in getting a current mixed-faith marriage on the podcast. I can't imagine there are many mixed-faith marriages where the TBM wants to air their dirty laundry. Any current mixed-faith marriage partnership willing to be interviewed would probably be very nuanced/progressive/NOMish.
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

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Re: Help for TBM-lite spouse?

Post by profit_seizer » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:24 pm

Thanks everyone. This really does help. I may not be able to find someone who "gets it" for DW to talk to but at least I'm starting to see more of the picture.
"The history of human thought recalls the swinging of a pendulum which takes centuries to swing. After a long period of slumber comes a moment of awakening." —Peter Kropotkin

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