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Dr. Laura gives advice to mormon couple

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:22 am
by FiveFingerMnemonic
Saw this over on reddit and thought it was interesting. Her advice was to be brave and tell the parents in a face to face conversation (no letters) but to not share any details as to why they left the faith. Details only cause arguments and destroy the relationship.

https://www.drlaura.com/pg/jsp/charts/a ... pid=118238

Re: Dr. Laura gives advice to mormon couple

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:28 pm
by Angel
I'm not sure if I agree with "no details of why I left" idea. Different families have different dynamics, and there are kind vs. confrontational ways of sharing things...

Why not - "I can share why I left with you, but know it would involve delving into subjects you might find painful. If you would like to talk through it that would be great, but I will completely understand if you prefer not to have a more detailed conversation..." - open the door, but don't force anything down their throat - let them choose to walk into it or not.

Re: Dr. Laura gives advice to mormon couple

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:12 pm
by FiveFingerMnemonic
I can see her rationale. The details are what cause the feeling of identity being threatened. Defensive mechanisms then deploy to protect the fragile identity. I did the exact opposite with my in laws and came out guns blazing with facts and history. In retrospect I may have been able to set better boundaries sooner had I followed Dr. Laura's advice.

Furthermore, I think we have to learn to let go of our infantalized sense of self esteem tied to what the tribe judges about our reasons. Therein lies true freedom of mind and self esteem.

Re: Dr. Laura gives advice to mormon couple

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:25 pm
by RubinHighlander
While I agree generally this approach may be the best one in some situations, I think there's room for some potential additional explanations:
- This was a very difficult decision. It's one that took a significant amount of time, prayer, study, etc. to come to.
- We came to this decision with much clarity in thought that it's the right one for us and our family.
- We are not broken, we do not need to be fixed, prayed for or have our names put in the temple, but we empathize and understand your emotional reaction to this announcement.
- It's not because we were offended or wanted to sin!
- We no longer believe in any of the truth claims of the church, many of it's policies and practices, etc., without getting into specifics.

This would be a good initial conversation, but the parents are likely to keep digging...or they may bury their heads in the sand - I've seen both situations. If they want to keep digging you can make it very clear to them that you are willing to provide a few examples, but it will first require some research by them into some church based sources, e.g. the essays, TBM authors, BYU studies, etc.

Re: Dr. Laura gives advice to mormon couple

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:39 pm
by MerrieMiss
I think it is generally good advice. It's easier to tell a believer that you now believe in something else than nothing at all. It is also less damaging to their sense of identity and they are less likely to take it personally if no details are given. In time, if the parents want to know and the non-believer really thinks they ask "with pure intent," then go for it. But for an initial conversation, "I now have beliefs that are different than the LDS church" is about all that needs to be said. More often than not, I think the desire to give reasons for leaving the church are less for the TBM, but more for the disaffected person's feeling of necessary self-defense. It's so rare that a TBM will actually ask "why?" Most of them don't care, don't want to know, and already think they do know: you're lazy, want to sin, under the influence of Satan. Rational thought is useless at that point.

The key is remembering this is about salvaging a relationship - not proving who is right or who is wrong. Saying "I love you" and a few other kind words also may help mitigate the damage.

Of course, this is all observation on my part, since I have never told a TBM my beliefs. I'm still waiting for my husband to ask. :lol:

Re: Dr. Laura gives advice to mormon couple

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:02 pm
by FiveFingerMnemonic

MerrieMiss wrote: More often than not, I think the desire to give reasons for leaving the church are less for the TBM, but more for the disaffected person's feeling of necessary self-defense.

The key is remembering this is about salvaging a relationship - not proving who is right or who is wrong.
Totally agree.

Re: Dr. Laura gives advice to mormon couple

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:41 am
by Just This Guy
I think the problem is that this is a "Pap diagnosis without first obtaining a full medical history" to borrow from Monty Python.

There is only so much you can do with a few minutes for a radio spot or short letter. You just don't have the time to get the details needed for a more involved recommendation. In the end, you ave to get what is going to be the best advice for the most common situations. If this were a actual session where you have the time so you can get into details, then her advise may be different. This just isn't a good format for something like this.

Re: Dr. Laura gives advice to mormon couple

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:11 pm
by Random
This really has nothing to do with the main topic on this thread. More like a vent or me being a whiny child.

My first ex was able to talk to Dr. Laura on one of her talk shows. She told him to have me call her and she'd straighten me out. Yeah, couldn't see what he really was in that short conversation. Believed him that he was my victim (or some such thing). I never called.

She was the be-all, end-all for him and, because of that, I never liked her. She seemed too gullible, too willing to believe the abusive men who called in to whine and too quick to interrupt and cut off the women who seemed (to me) to have genuine concerns. Though, to be fair, I did hear her cut off some men, also. I think she was controlled by time and by the desire to talk to as many people as possible (for whatever reason).

Re: Dr. Laura gives advice to mormon couple

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:53 am
by Newme
I agree with a lot of comments. To introduce this news to extended family of not going to church any more - it makes sense to be vague and not too informative. However, in my case, I still go to church, pray, have fhe & serve in basic callings - but I’m less fanatic - no temple recommend & I don’t believe a lot of their doctrine. So, I wonder what Dr. Laura would recommend I tell TBM family. Maybe, the same preface about “I know this is going to disappoint you but my heart and soul are not in the church enough to pledge loyalty in order to get a temple recommend”?? Also, the way it’s already happened is no formal announcement but just when the topic comes up.

Another, more complicated matter is that of more intimate relationships - like spouse. Any relationship is based on relating. So it seems the goal would be not so much to hide how you think and feel - but be more open and honest - just in a way that helps both feel understood and validated. Easier said than done.


Random, I don’t blame you for not calling her, especially when she only heard his side of the story. I used to listen to her on my lunch breaks almost daily & I still didn’t want to call and likely get chewed out for something. She did help me see some things in much better ways, but maybe the format & her style isn’t exactly compassionate.

Re: Dr. Laura gives advice to mormon couple

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:24 pm
by Random
Newme wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:53 am
Random, I don’t blame you for not calling her, especially when she only heard his side of the story. I used to listen to her on my lunch breaks almost daily & I still didn’t want to call and likely get chewed out for something. She did help me see some things in much better ways, but maybe the format & her style isn’t exactly compassionate.
<3