Marital stress

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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stuck
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:48 pm

Marital stress

Post by stuck » Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:47 pm

Hey guys,

Just wanted to vent and hopefully get some more ideas on how to make a mixed faith marriage better especially when one spouse seems more entrenched. Just a bit of background: We have been married for about 7 years and my shelf broke about 6 years ago. We have a couple of young kiddos. She is close to her parents and we live relatively close to them as well. Her parents are quite orthodox and her father told her not long ago that it's going to be up to her to keep our family in the church (no pressure right?).

I told her recently that I wanted to keep our family together despite our differences in belief. I think saying that helped alleviate some stress. But lately I have just felt like wow she is not really budging and so it feels like to me that if I don't continue to support her and the kids in the church in an orthodox way that our marriage may not last (I feel that way I suppose because I'm not sure I can handle it).

I think what I need in the marriage for it to work is a compromise that both of us would be happy with. Is this even possible? I hope so. Like Graey I need to listen to more of the marriage on a tightrope podcast and perhaps get her to listen to it also.

I have read other ideas that you guys have posted also recently like not even bringing religion up to discuss it. I know others have had some success with not wearing garments anymore. I haven't paid tithing for the past few months but if she knew that she would be quite upset. I guess since we are starting to go back to church more, I feel like we have less freedom now on Sundays. Any thoughts or ideas on how you guys have been somewhat successful at making compromises regarding the church in your marriages?

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Corsair
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Re: Marital stress

Post by Corsair » Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:34 am

I certainly want to acknowledge that this stress in a marriage is difficult. I have to give a lot of credit to my wife for coming to some acceptance on my beliefs. She is largely not budging on her testimony, but she does not evaluate our relationship based on my belief.

I wish there was an easier way to get the believing spouses together for commiseration and support. Both sides of this debate are rarely going to change the beliefs of the other side, but certainly both sides could be more skillful in working together. The institutional LDS church is aggressively incompetent at this, of course. They are slow to acknowledge good ideas that did not originate within their ranks. We can't rely on the church to solve this for us.

I treat the LDS church like an expensive hobby that my wife enjoys. It's like she has a weekly Sunday tee-time for golf and she does pay for this privilege. I don't bad mouth either the LDS church or any other hobby she has. It does help that I have a high tolerance for attending church and do maintain an LDS facade for her. Ironically, it feels like we have to be the Christlike person in these relationships.

I don't know what your personal beliefs are, but I recommend that you retain some kind of reverence for Jesus, even if you have dropped all theistics beliefs. Jesus is the ultimate peace-loving hippie. There are Christian faiths that have virtually every view of Jesus possible. Stick with the Jesus associated with a simple reading of the Sermon on the Mount. This is radical love of virtually everyone. I truly don't care what you believe in. If you want to stay married to your TBM spouse, then being an ally of Radical Kindness Jesus will trump just about any LDS cultural requirement. If you retain a Christian devotion to Jesus then this will obviously be easier. You can get to the point where you can judge LDS cultural requirements against what Jesus would actually do.

Few Mormons truly study the New Testament. Take your seminary or mission scriptures and find those verses that are going to support the actual practices and beliefs that you want to exhibit in your family and life in general. Have those verses on hand. Read how Paul recommended that parents live with spouses and children of various belief levels. In 1 Corinthians 7:12-14 Paul is an ally of your marriage since this tells believing spouses to continue being married to non-believing spouses. This is a clear message that divorce is not warranted simply for non-belief.

stuck
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:48 pm

Re: Marital stress

Post by stuck » Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:33 am

Corsair wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:34 am
I certainly want to acknowledge that this stress in a marriage is difficult. I have to give a lot of credit to my wife for coming to some acceptance on my beliefs. She is largely not budging on her testimony, but she does not evaluate our relationship based on my belief.

I wish there was an easier way to get the believing spouses together for commiseration and support. Both sides of this debate are rarely going to change the beliefs of the other side, but certainly both sides could be more skillful in working together. The institutional LDS church is aggressively incompetent at this, of course. They are slow to acknowledge good ideas that did not originate within their ranks. We can't rely on the church to solve this for us.

I treat the LDS church like an expensive hobby that my wife enjoys. It's like she has a weekly Sunday tee-time for golf and she does pay for this privilege. I don't bad mouth either the LDS church or any other hobby she has. It does help that I have a high tolerance for attending church and do maintain an LDS facade for her. Ironically, it feels like we have to be the Christlike person in these relationships.

I don't know what your personal beliefs are, but I recommend that you retain some kind of reverence for Jesus, even if you have dropped all theistics beliefs. Jesus is the ultimate peace-loving hippie. There are Christian faiths that have virtually every view of Jesus possible. Stick with the Jesus associated with a simple reading of the Sermon on the Mount. This is radical love of virtually everyone. I truly don't care what you believe in. If you want to stay married to your TBM spouse, then being an ally of Radical Kindness Jesus will trump just about any LDS cultural requirement. If you retain a Christian devotion to Jesus then this will obviously be easier. You can get to the point where you can judge LDS cultural requirements against what Jesus would actually do.

Few Mormons truly study the New Testament. Take your seminary or mission scriptures and find those verses that are going to support the actual practices and beliefs that you want to exhibit in your family and life in general. Have those verses on hand. Read how Paul recommended that parents live with spouses and children of various belief levels. In 1 Corinthians 7:12-14 Paul is an ally of your marriage since this tells believing spouses to continue being married to non-believing spouses. This is a clear message that divorce is not warranted simply for non-belief.
Thanks for the response Corsair! I think that is a great scripture that you mentioned--perhaps even if we don't believe it, it may help our spouses feel okay with staying married with a non-believer. And since I've listened to a lot of Bart Ehrman's ideas about Jesus I have a bit of trouble believing that he was divine but again Jesus taught that we should love our neighbor as ourselves right? So hopefully that should also help believers be more accepting of us and others unlike them including those who may be marginalized in religious societies. I like your idea of thinking of the church as an expensive hobby for them (if we are paying tithing:); now, if our spouses could just let us be less involved in their hobby that would be nice (good luck with this especially if we have young kids right?).

Red Ryder
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Re: Marital stress

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:03 pm

Corsair’s post is spot on.

My advice in this is mixed. Ready for it?

Divorce is absolutely an option. Maybe not the best option for your situation right now or ever, but just remember it’s a valid option. Keep that in mind and communicate it openly with her. This will allow yourself to fully evaluate your relationship and for her to understand that you will not just sit back and be controlled by fear of divorce. Your happiness in your marriage is worth fighting for but you’re not going to do it alone.

You will find that the church has indoctrinated us by using fear. If you leave the church.... these bad things will happen. If you don’t stay active, these things will happen. Well we know that is simply not true. So sit down with her and line out your core beliefs. Explain to her what leaving the church looks like to you. I echo Corsair’s advice on maintaining some sort of reverence for Jesus only because it freaks people out of you become an atheist. At most just become an apathetic agnostic.

Lay out your core beliefs and paint a picture of what she can expect from you. Commit to her and your family. If that means supporting her by helping with kids at church then do that. Promise her that you will not drink without her approval if she is fearful of alcohol. Take things slow and be open with her. Do not hide secrets because when they come out (and they usually do) it will only enforce the church narrative that people who leave the church lose their integrity.

Decide your level of participation. I refused to let other men be a surrogate church father to my wife and kids. That meant I did the baptisms, confirmations, and ordinances. Sometimes it was a struggle but I looked at it as a right of passage or cultural milestone for my kids. You’d do the same if you were catholic, or Lutheran, or whatever.

Don’t allow the church to make you the second class father sitting in the back in your blue shirt, jeans, and sneakers. Own the role as priesthood advisor to your family and use the ordinances to lay your hands on their heads and give them the best fatherly advice ever. I skipped the cookie cutter routine stuff you always hear and gave heartfelt meaningful advice that I wanted to give. Ironically people always complimented me on how beautiful my ordinations and blessings were. That’s because they were MY words, not the scripted church narrative. F that. I’ll say what I want. Reminds me of the time I gave my FIL a blessing and told him God didn’t create our bodies to be lazy and that he needed to exercise and workout.

Next step, is to become indifferent towards the church. Sister RR gets mad when I make fun of Mormons or bag on the doctrine and leaders. They feel personally stacked even though you are attacking the church and not her. Just become indifferent to the church. Vent here at NOM.

Third step, is to be the best damn husband and father you can be. Again prove that the church is wrong. You can leave the church and still be happy. Living your best life is the best revenge. Prove them wrong. Point out that the church lives in fear, you live in reality and are happy.

Sometimes this takes years and is a process you have to constantly think through. But you’re not stuck, stuck! 😀 you just have to strategically decide to live your life with a TBM even though you no longer are. There will be frustrating times but you can make it work. You just have to realize you are now playing on hard mode instead of Sunday school answer mode.

Last thing I will say is to find help through therapy if needed.

For Sister RR and I, we eventually went to marriage counseling and learned quickly that neither of us wanted to get divorced and that my unbelief wasn’t a deal breaker. So we had to figure out how to make it the new normal. Now that doesn’t mean everything is easy peesey now. It just means we communicate more and offer empathy. “I know it sucks, I’m sorry, but I still feel the way I do about the church... This isn’t any easier for me than it is for you... let’s go get ice cream!”

You have to reduce the size of the church wedge between you. It will never go away but it can be significantly reduced if you always take the high road and don’t instigate a fight over it.

Here’s the magic sauce recipe I paid the therapist $1,500 for. You can have it for free:

One of the best things that came out of therapy was the ability to communicate better. It was hard. Still is but here’s a simple way to start. Every night, start with 2 simple questions.

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

Then sit back and listen. Don’t argue or defend. Just listen. Then reciprocate the questions asked and give your answers.

After a few weeks you will notice that you begin to have open conversations without the format. When you get to this point then you can add two more questions:

3. How’s our emotional connection?
4. How’s our sexual connection?

You’ll find that a happy marriage becomes more about the two of you and less about the church differences. So focus on making your marriage happy. You’ll still disagree, but now you know how to fight, communicate to resolve, and have great make up sex! 😀

If you want to know more about our therapy consider looking up The Gottman Sound Relationship House.

Image
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

stuck
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:48 pm

Re: Marital stress

Post by stuck » Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:36 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:03 pm
Corsair’s post is spot on.

My advice in this is mixed. Ready for it?

Divorce is absolutely an option. Maybe not the best option for your situation right now or ever, but just remember it’s a valid option. Keep that in mind and communicate it openly with her. This will allow yourself to fully evaluate your relationship and for her to understand that you will not just sit back and be controlled by fear of divorce. Your happiness in your marriage is worth fighting for but you’re not going to do it alone.

You will find that the church has indoctrinated us by using fear. If you leave the church.... these bad things will happen. If you don’t stay active, these things will happen. Well we know that is simply not true. So sit down with her and line out your core beliefs. Explain to her what leaving the church looks like to you. I echo Corsair’s advice on maintaining some sort of reverence for Jesus only because it freaks people out of you become an atheist. At most just become an apathetic agnostic.

Lay out your core beliefs and paint a picture of what she can expect from you. Commit to her and your family. If that means supporting her by helping with kids at church then do that. Promise her that you will not drink without her approval if she is fearful of alcohol. Take things slow and be open with her. Do not hide secrets because when they come out (and they usually do) it will only enforce the church narrative that people who leave the church lose their integrity.

Decide your level of participation. I refused to let other men be a surrogate church father to my wife and kids. That meant I did the baptisms, confirmations, and ordinances. Sometimes it was a struggle but I looked at it as a right of passage or cultural milestone for my kids. You’d do the same if you were catholic, or Lutheran, or whatever.

Don’t allow the church to make you the second class father sitting in the back in your blue shirt, jeans, and sneakers. Own the role as priesthood advisor to your family and use the ordinances to lay your hands on their heads and give them the best fatherly advice ever. I skipped the cookie cutter routine stuff you always hear and gave heartfelt meaningful advice that I wanted to give. Ironically people always complimented me on how beautiful my ordinations and blessings were. That’s because they were MY words, not the scripted church narrative. F that. I’ll say what I want. Reminds me of the time I gave my FIL a blessing and told him God didn’t create our bodies to be lazy and that he needed to exercise and workout.

Next step, is to become indifferent towards the church. Sister RR gets mad when I make fun of Mormons or bag on the doctrine and leaders. They feel personally stacked even though you are attacking the church and not her. Just become indifferent to the church. Vent here at NOM.

Third step, is to be the best damn husband and father you can be. Again prove that the church is wrong. You can leave the church and still be happy. Living your best life is the best revenge. Prove them wrong. Point out that the church lives in fear, you live in reality and are happy.

Sometimes this takes years and is a process you have to constantly think through. But you’re not stuck, stuck! 😀 you just have to strategically decide to live your life with a TBM even though you no longer are. There will be frustrating times but you can make it work. You just have to realize you are now playing on hard mode instead of Sunday school answer mode.

Last thing I will say is to find help through therapy if needed.

For Sister RR and I, we eventually went to marriage counseling and learned quickly that neither of us wanted to get divorced and that my unbelief wasn’t a deal breaker. So we had to figure out how to make it the new normal. Now that doesn’t mean everything is easy peesey now. It just means we communicate more and offer empathy. “I know it sucks, I’m sorry, but I still feel the way I do about the church... This isn’t any easier for me than it is for you... let’s go get ice cream!”

You have to reduce the size of the church wedge between you. It will never go away but it can be significantly reduced if you always take the high road and don’t instigate a fight over it.

Here’s the magic sauce recipe I paid the therapist $1,500 for. You can have it for free:

One of the best things that came out of therapy was the ability to communicate better. It was hard. Still is but here’s a simple way to start. Every night, start with 2 simple questions.

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

Then sit back and listen. Don’t argue or defend. Just listen. Then reciprocate the questions asked and give your answers.

After a few weeks you will notice that you begin to have open conversations without the format. When you get to this point then you can add two more questions:

3. How’s our emotional connection?
4. How’s our sexual connection?

You’ll find that a happy marriage becomes more about the two of you and less about the church differences. So focus on making your marria ge happy. You’ll still disagree, but now you know how to fight, communicate to resolve, and have great make up sex! 😀

If you want to know more about our therapy consider looking up The Gottman Sound Relationship House.

Image
Wow that's great advice RR! :D I will definitely have to start asking her questions like that to help improve our relationship. Not looking forward to this weekend of hours of conference, but maybe we can go on a drive or something so it will be easier to tune out.

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Advocate
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:14 am

Re: Marital stress

Post by Advocate » Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:48 pm

Lots of great advice here. I'm far from being at the end of this road, but I've learned a little bit from my journey. Here are a few thoughts:

1) Be the best husband and father you can be. I've found this involves a lot of self-sacrifice on my part. I firmly believe that making the decision to the best husband I can has strengthened our relationship immensely. 10 years or so ago we were both believers and both on the ward council; I remember several times having major disagreements on the way to a ward council meeting. Now days, those sort of disagreements are rare in large part (I believe) because I try to put her needs first. Putting her needs first will lead you to the next one, which is learning to play a role.

2) Learn to play your role at church. If you were raised in the church, this should be pretty easy. In a nutshell, don't be the crazy guy that spouts off in Sunday school class. I wear a white shirt and tie, but am pretty quiet. My wife (and likely everybody else) doesn't want to hear my questions about the BOM, the church, or any other gospel topic. They are there to have their beliefs reinforced; any behavior that upsets this reinforcement will be frowned on and will likely cause your spouse social anguish.

3) Learn to be comfortable with "Lying for the Lord" (aka rationalizing your beliefs to fit in the LDS system). The idea behind "lying for the Lord" is that it is ok to lie in furtherance of a greater good. For me, I believe keeping my marriage intact and providing a stable home for my children is a greater good that justifies lying. Most of the time this means just keeping quiet, but you'll have to get comfortable with understanding temple recommend questions differently than you may have in the past. There are lots of good discussions on this that I won't get into here.

4) Be comfortable not caring about the church. When I first told my wife about my changed beliefs based information I hadn't seen before, I was listening to podcasts and reading on the internet all the time. Constantly hearing about the many ways the church and church leaders fall short was driving me nuts and making me difficult to live with. So I decided to stop caring about it. I no longer listen to podcasts about the church, NOM is the only church-related thing on the internet I read (because I love the people and these sort of discussions), and I am much happier for it.

5) Don't argue with your wife about the church. Any TBM (including your spouse) doesn't want to hear about church shortcomings. When church teachings or news come up, I tend to listen and don't say much. If it is mildly interesting, I might employ the Socratic method (see https://www.wikihow.com/Argue-Using-the-Socratic-Method) as a way to tease out some of the contradictions I see.

6) Hang in there, and learn to turn the other cheek when your spouse feels guilty about something church-related. Just this past weekend, I thought things were going great because we didn't watch any conference on Saturday. Then 20 minutes into Sunday morning session (which we put on when it started), wife is mad because the kids aren't listening and all the sudden it is my fault for not supporting her (never mind that listening to elderly men talk isn't something that any child or teenager wants to do). It was a bit of a blowup, but we made some space and it turned into nothing. Just be prepared to catch some flak even when it isn't your fault, because the church is very good at making people feel guilty for not doing everything the church thinks they should do.

7) Stay happy and post here for support. There are a lot of wise people here that have faced the same issues you will. Feel free to lean on them for advice and counsel.

Good luck! It isn't easy, but with time I think your spouse will soften (mine has) and you'll reach a comfortable middle ground. You likely will never have the church out of your life completely (if only!), but it isn't so bad if you can keep the mormon stuff at church for 2 hours each week.

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SaidNobody
Posts: 508
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:03 am

Re: Marital stress

Post by SaidNobody » Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:29 am

I've been away from UT about 25 years now. You can take the kid out of the cult, but you can't take the cult out the kid, eh?

In my search for truth, I learned that what I THOUGHT was the truth, wasn't the truth at all. Like, you think, "did God really talk to a farm kid in NY? I mean, seriously, a New Yorker, HA, not likely."

What I learned about the truth is that Family is the most important thing to me. Whether Jesus and God had parts and passions really doesn't hug the kids, or train the dog not piss on the carpet. Keeping that stuff real becomes the truth you really want.

But what is Mormonism known for? Weird underwear? Secret Temple rituals? Good posture? These things are fun, but Mormons are really known for their families. If you meet a Mormon, you know their first priority is the well-being of their children. You know if you went to family dinner, there would be clean faces, relatively orderly discussion, rather low drama.

The truth about Mormonism isn't in the doctrine, it's in the product. Some people are horrified that some farmers/gardeners still put cow-shit on their corps. Like, why the hell would you do that? Because it makes them grow, am I right?

For years I have come to these boards and have my heart break as people give up their dreams because they couldn't see past the shit. It has it's function. I know it isn't easy, or perfect. Raising kids is hard, no matter where you do it, or who you do it with. At least, it's hard if you care. Almost everyday I wish I had a church that would work for my family, but wife is Catholic, and my child a heathen goddess.

I know from extensive research that most of Mormon doctrine and beliefs probably aren't what they claim to be. But I could also show you truth in almost any scripture or tenant of the faith. If you think crossing over into the world without angels and Gods will make you do better, it doesn't get easier to make a strong family. There are some crazy people out there, like one dude that killed his wife and daughter because God told him too. That's not on God, that on him. God is what you make of him, whether you believe in him or not. But I can tell you for sure, when you go looking for yourself, your true self, you will be well served by a quality belief in a loving God.

The words, "Know thyself" is what spawns most quests to find God. You can be anywhere, in any situation, or condition. But seeking God often asks the same question everyone is asked at death, "did I do the best I could with what I had?"

It's possible to respect someone that has different beliefs. But respesting means not putting their beliefs down. Many of my old friends on here would get so frustrated that they had deal with a partner that wanted to go church, or help in the church, or pay a tithe, (that can be tricky) but it doesn't have to be frustrating. What if your partner was an alcholic and they were going to AA meetings? Would you abandon them, throw them to wolves? Wait! Shit. Being Mormon you probably don't know about AA and would probably throw your partner aside.

Anyway. Don't look for truth that is logical as much as it is functional. Some of the best people I've met and admire are Mormon. It can be a good program, produce excellent results, a good family and good people.

Red Ryder
Posts: 3403
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: Marital stress

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:17 am

“Advocate” wrote: 4) Be comfortable not caring about the church. When I first told my wife about my changed beliefs based information I hadn't seen before, I was listening to podcasts and reading on the internet all the time. Constantly hearing about the many ways the church and church leaders fall short was driving me nuts and making me difficult to live with. So I decided to stop caring about it. I no longer listen to podcasts about the church, NOM is the only church-related thing on the internet I read (because I love the people and these sort of discussions), and I am much happier for it.
Excellent advice. I found this also helps to reduce the anger. Find stuff that’s interesting to you.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

Red Ryder
Posts: 3403
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: Marital stress

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:20 am

SaidNobody wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:29 am
I've been away from UT about 25 years now. You can take the kid out of the cult, but you can't take the cult out the kid, eh?

In my search for truth, I learned that what I THOUGHT was the truth, wasn't the truth at all. Like, you think, "did God really talk to a farm kid in NY? I mean, seriously, a New Yorker, HA, not likely."

What I learned about the truth is that Family is the most important thing to me. Whether Jesus and God had parts and passions really doesn't hug the kids, or train the dog not piss on the carpet. Keeping that stuff real becomes the truth you really want.

But what is Mormonism known for? Weird underwear? Secret Temple rituals? Good posture? These things are fun, but Mormons are really known for their families. If you meet a Mormon, you know their first priority is the well-being of their children. You know if you went to family dinner, there would be clean faces, relatively orderly discussion, rather low drama.

The truth about Mormonism isn't in the doctrine, it's in the product. Some people are horrified that some farmers/gardeners still put cow-shit on their corps. Like, why the hell would you do that? Because it makes them grow, am I right?

For years I have come to these boards and have my heart break as people give up their dreams because they couldn't see past the shit. It has it's function. I know it isn't easy, or perfect. Raising kids is hard, no matter where you do it, or who you do it with. At least, it's hard if you care. Almost everyday I wish I had a church that would work for my family, but wife is Catholic, and my child a heathen goddess.

I know from extensive research that most of Mormon doctrine and beliefs probably aren't what they claim to be. But I could also show you truth in almost any scripture or tenant of the faith. If you think crossing over into the world without angels and Gods will make you do better, it doesn't get easier to make a strong family. There are some crazy people out there, like one dude that killed his wife and daughter because God told him too. That's not on God, that on him. God is what you make of him, whether you believe in him or not. But I can tell you for sure, when you go looking for yourself, your true self, you will be well served by a quality belief in a loving God.

The words, "Know thyself" is what spawns most quests to find God. You can be anywhere, in any situation, or condition. But seeking God often asks the same question everyone is asked at death, "did I do the best I could with what I had?"

It's possible to respect someone that has different beliefs. But respesting means not putting their beliefs down. Many of my old friends on here would get so frustrated that they had deal with a partner that wanted to go church, or help in the church, or pay a tithe, (that can be tricky) but it doesn't have to be frustrating. What if your partner was an alcholic and they were going to AA meetings? Would you abandon them, throw them to wolves? Wait! Shit. Being Mormon you probably don't know about AA and would probably throw your partner aside.

Anyway. Don't look for truth that is logical as much as it is functional. Some of the best people I've met and admire are Mormon. It can be a good program, produce excellent results, a good family and good people.
Excellent post. The longer I’m out the more I find myself aligning to this. The product isn’t all good. But it isn’t all bad either.

Did I just say that out loud? :lol:
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

stuck
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:48 pm

Re: Marital stress

Post by stuck » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:11 pm

Hey guys thanks for the thoughts and advice. I should try to be more honest with her too. This is hard for me on some things like paying tithing and drinking coffee. She just found out I had been drinking coffee and had a bit of a melt down even though I told her I had been drinking coffee six months ago. I guess she assumed I would stop. I do have a heart arrythmia though and am thinking it may be better for my heart if I quit, so I will try and see. Tithing I am into the paying on the "interest" or spending money, but lately haven't paid for a few months. But I figured maybe I would be ok saying I am a full tithe payor because I paid on my gross for most of my lifetime. This is something I don't really want to discuss unless I have to. But if I do I suppose I can try to negotiate and perhaps pay on half of the net? Do you guys have any thoughts or experience on this?

Reuben
Posts: 1445
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: Marital stress

Post by Reuben » Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:22 pm

stuck wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:11 pm
Hey guys thanks for the thoughts and advice. I should try to be more honest with her too. This is hard for me on some things like paying tithing and drinking coffee. She just found out I had been drinking coffee and had a bit of a melt down even though I told her I had been drinking coffee six months ago. I guess she assumed I would stop. I do have a heart arrythmia though and am thinking it may be better for my heart if I quit, so I will try and see.
I take a pharmaceutical approach to things that have large effects in small doses (i.e. drugs). 1. If I were worried, I would talk to my doctor. 2. I set a max and rarely exceed it. 3. I work up/down slowly to bigger/smaller doses.

You can get all the daily psychological benefits of caffeine from 2-3 cups of coffee, evenly spaced until 2pm or so. After that, it's likely to push your bedtime back, reduce your sleep quality, or increase chronic stress.

Recent research suggests health benefits up to 4-5 cups, but IIRC it could be that you'd get the benefits of the last 2 cups from a handful of blueberries instead. A lot of people get a lot of their antioxidants from coffee and tea, which confounds the data.
Tithing I am into the paying on the "interest" or spending money, but lately haven't paid for a few months. But I figured maybe I would be ok saying I am a full tithe payor because I paid on my gross for most of my lifetime. This is something I don't really want to discuss unless I have to. But if I do I suppose I can try to negotiate and perhaps pay on half of the net? Do you guys have any thoughts or experience on this?
In many (most?) marriages, making big unilateral decisions about money is playing with fire. It being about tithing doubles the risk. This worries me, but whether it's a really big problem depends on a lot of things, so I'll step back and let the experts grill ya.

Alas?
Learn to doubt the stories you tell about yourselves and your adversaries.

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alas
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Re: Marital stress

Post by alas » Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:12 pm

I have been paged.

On the coffee, I would talk to my doctor. My brother has arrhythmia and he limits to one 10 oz cup a day on doctor’s orders. And he has only that one cup as all the stimulants he gets, so no soda, tea, or anything else.

On tithing, the general rule about marriage is no major financial decisions without consulting the spouse and tithing would fall into this as it is a pretty big bill each month and also pretty important to nonbelievers. That was the rule I taught my clients when I worked with couples as a social worker.

Things to consider would be If the spouse works you can divide it by saying you may do want you feel is right about your income and I’ll do what I feel is right about mine. This seems to be generally Acceptable to the NOM spouses. But if the wife doesn’t have her own income, it can be a little more of a problem. In the time I have been on NOM, I have seen a few workable compromises. One is that when the wife has no income of her own, she is considered a full tithe payer because 10% of zero is zero. But some wives find this sexist as hell, so tread carefully. Many women feel that since they work in the home, 50% of the income is theirs, sort of like they are the hired cook, maid, housekeeper, chauffeur, chief bottle washer, laundry expert, and professional shopper. Which really is fair and legally, she is entitled if you should ever divorce, so don’t insult her as if she is worthless. If you had to pay her for all she does as a housewife, you couldn’t afford her. In this case, one common solution I have seen on NOM is to split the income and she pays on her 50% and you don’t pay on yours. Or, you do like I did and decide peace in the home is worth a full tithing. It just wasn’t the hill I wanted to die on. More important that he respect my beliefs and I respect his by letting him pay a full tithing for both of us. He feels it keeps me worthy of whatever because he has paid my fire insurance, so to speak. So, several options to consider.

But talk it over until you both feel good with what ever you decide to do.

stuck
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Re: Marital stress

Post by stuck » Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:16 pm

Thank you Alas, those are some great ideas. Now I just have to get the guts to speak with her about it.

Thoughtful
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Re: Marital stress

Post by Thoughtful » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:06 am

stuck wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:16 pm
Thank you Alas, those are some great ideas. Now I just have to get the guts to speak with her about it.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

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