It's not all my fault?

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.
Post Reply
User avatar
sparky
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:47 pm

It's not all my fault?

Post by sparky » Mon Nov 21, 2022 7:27 am

After some recent events, for the first time I feel like my not being able to talk about my church issues with DW is not entirely my fault.

My current goal is (still) to get out of these stupid garments. Yes I'm a grown up and could just stop stop wearing them without waiting for permission. But I'd like to avoid torpedoing my relationship, so I've tried a few times recently (after first bringing it up nearly a year ago) talking with DW and explaining why I want to change. That it has nothing to do with how I feel about her. That they are physically and emotionally uncomfortable for me.

But whenever I try to bring it up, she kind of closes off. She points out that my choices affect other people. She changes the topic to an unrelated behavior of mine that, yes, can be hurtful, but that I'm aware of and am working on. But she doesn't seem to care or want to understand/discuss the actual topic when I bring it up.

I've been going to therapy for about a year now, because I know I have trouble sharing my feelings/thoughts/preferences when they go against the group. And I've been making progress with that I think. But it feels like as I've taken down my own walls, I've started running into her walls. She will listen to me talk sometimes, but she seems not to *want* to know what's going on with me. Like even if I have zero belief or think there are major problems, she doesn't care as long as I keep it to myself. And if I do share it with her, she kind of half heartedly tells me thanks for sharing, but asks no questions, has no curiosity, and never brings it up again.

One probably highly relevant piece of info: her father was inactive from before she was born until she was eight years old. He apparently got active again so he could baptize her, and he has been active ever since. I've tried talking to her about that, but she doesn't know much of the details. Just that it made her very happy when he started being active. In my own therapy and learning about marriage relationships from other sources (Esther Perel's podcast is amazing for example), I'm learning that in marriage relationships we often reenact our relationships with our parents. So I'm certain that has to be playing a role here, that she's viewing me the same way she saw her father as a child. But I'm not sure how to deal with that.

So all this is a new perspective for me. I've been feeling terrible and dishonest for keeping my disaffection to myself, but it seems she literally doesn't want to know and is happy to ignore it. I don't know how this might change my approach, but I think it has to. I'm trying to be empathetic and respect how she's feeling about this major change, but I have to take care of myself too. Does anyone have any advice on this? Do I just gradually change behaviors I'm no longer comfortable with like garments, communicating what I'm doing and why but without her "permission"? Or am I locked into these church check boxes because she is unwilling to engage on understanding where I'm at?

User avatar
Linked
Posts: 1536
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:04 pm

Re: It's not all my fault?

Post by Linked » Mon Nov 21, 2022 5:23 pm

This sounds a lot like my situation. My DW similarly does not like to talk openly about me not being a TBM. She's accepted that I don't wear garments, drink coffee, etc, but she does not want to talk about it.

I just listened to the book "Hold me Tight" which was pretty good. Apparently it's quite common for romantic relationships to have chasms in them. The book discusses some problems often seen in relationships and encourages partners to show ARE (Accessibility, Responsiveness, and Engagement). The religious difference and trauma make it super difficult for either partner in a mormon/exmormon mixed faith marriage to show ARE directly when it comes to the religious differences. But knowing it can be helpful. A lot of the example resolutions in the book are over simplified to the point of being dumb, but the problems and some of the techniques feel spot on.
sparky wrote:
Mon Nov 21, 2022 7:27 am
Do I just gradually change behaviors I'm no longer comfortable with like garments, communicating what I'm doing and why but without her "permission"?
Yes. And based on how little she wants to talk about it be ready for her to give little feedback about it.
"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

User avatar
alas
Posts: 2380
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Re: It's not all my fault?

Post by alas » Mon Nov 21, 2022 7:43 pm

I doubt she will ever give permission. That would imply that she approves. To approve says she is agreeing to your reasons. At least in her church influenced mind, it is agreeing instead of just understanding your reasons.

So, just tell her you are doing it and give your reasons and tell her you know she doesn’t agree. Then do it and be extra loving, helpful, and considerate. Be the best husband you can possibly be. She expects that this is a slippery slope issue and you will go from this “sin” on to other sins and pretty soon, you are a drunk who beats her and has lost his job. You know you will not go all the way to those sins, but the church has told her all her life that once you start going against the little things, that pretty soon you are also committing adultery and drowning puppies. Prove the church wrong by not going down the slope.

Keewon
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:01 pm

Re: It's not all my fault?

Post by Keewon » Tue Apr 04, 2023 1:13 pm

Alas wrote:Be the best husband you can possibly be. She expects that this is a slippery slope issue and you will go from this “sin” on to other sins and pretty soon, you are a drunk who beats her and has lost his job.
This advice is very wise, and I would only add work really hard at seeing the situation from your wife's point of view, although of course that comes under the heading of "be the best husband you can". Your wife believes (why should she not?) that you are putting her in danger of losing the most precious thing she has, her eternal family. She might be sympathetic, and believe you've been deceived and might possibly see the light and return to the Church later on, but every step down the path of disaffection- including ceasing to wear garments - would seem to belie that hope. She likely believes that you can't possibly understand her loss because you've "lost the Spirit". The only possible real and effective argument you might offer against this is the evidence of her own eyes- that the man she thinks is going down the path of perdition is actually becoming more kind, empathetic, and at peace with himself than the man she thought she knew. That that man is doing his best to hold her close to his heart, to keep looking at her through eyes of love.

Gatorbait
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:13 pm

Re: It's not all my fault?

Post by Gatorbait » Thu Apr 27, 2023 10:09 am

Sounds familiar. Losing the garments is a toughy. They really think you are on a path straight to hell with that one. My wife still wears them but I'm still holding out hope there. She says she's okay with me giving garments the old heave ho many years ago but I think she still holds out that I will wear them again, but I'm not sure.

I don't think that being the best husband you can be means you have to wear garments- but if that's what she thinks....

Good luck.
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

User avatar
Red Ryder
Posts: 4155
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: It's not all my fault?

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Apr 27, 2023 11:04 pm

My advice is to take them off if they are emotionally and physically disturbing you. Sit down with her and explain why. Assure her that you still love her.

Then own your decision.

She’ll adjust to your new normal over time.
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

User avatar
Red Ryder
Posts: 4155
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: It's not all my fault?

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Apr 27, 2023 11:28 pm

ChatGPT has some good advice.

I asked it “How do you stop wearing Mormon garments?”
Wearing Mormon garments is a personal choice for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and there is no obligation to continue wearing them if someone decides to stop. If you have decided to stop wearing Mormon garments, here are some steps you can take:

1. Pray and seek guidance from God: This is an important decision that can have spiritual implications, so it's important to seek guidance through prayer and meditation.

2. Talk to your ecclesiastical leader: If you're an active member of the LDS Church, it's a good idea to talk to your bishop or other church leader about your decision. They may have insights or counsel that can help you through the process.

3. Replace the garments with other clothing: Once you have decided to stop wearing Mormon garments, you will need to find other clothing to wear instead. It's important to choose clothing that you feel comfortable and confident in.

4. Respect others' beliefs: If you have family or friends who are still active members of the LDS Church and wear garments, it's important to respect their beliefs and not criticize or judge them for their decision to continue wearing them.

5. Seek support: If you are struggling with the decision to stop wearing Mormon garments or with the reactions of others, it may be helpful to seek support from others who have gone through a similar experience or from a mental health professional.

Remember that the decision to stop wearing Mormon garments is a personal one, and there is no right or wrong answer. It's important to take time to reflect on your reasons for wanting to stop wearing them and to make a decision that is true to your own beliefs and values.
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

User avatar
Red Ryder
Posts: 4155
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: It's not all my fault?

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Apr 27, 2023 11:32 pm

Followed by “what if my wife doesn’t want me to?”
If your wife is a devout member of the LDS Church and strongly believes in wearing Mormon garments, she may have concerns or reservations about your decision to stop wearing them. It's important to have an open and honest conversation with her about your decision and to listen to her concerns and feelings.

Here are some steps you can take to navigate this situation:

1. Communicate openly: Talk to your wife about your decision to stop wearing Mormon garments and why you feel it's important. Be respectful and listen to her concerns and feelings.

2. Find common ground: Look for areas of agreement and common ground, such as your shared values and commitment to your marriage.

3. Be patient and understanding: Changing beliefs or behaviors can be difficult for both parties, and it may take time for your wife to adjust to your decision. Be patient and understanding as you work through this together.

4. Seek counseling: If you are having difficulty communicating or finding common ground, consider seeking counseling from a licensed therapist or a trusted spiritual leader who can help you navigate this situation.

Ultimately, the decision to wear or not wear Mormon garments is a personal one, and each individual must make their own decision based on their beliefs and values. It's important to respect each other's beliefs and feelings and to work together to find a solution that works for both of you.
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 7130
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: It's not all my fault?

Post by Hagoth » Sun Apr 30, 2023 6:41 am

Wouldn't be amazing if God's Anointed were as thoughtful and caring as ChatGPT?
“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."

User avatar
sparky
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:47 pm

Re: It's not all my fault?

Post by sparky » Wed May 03, 2023 7:49 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Apr 27, 2023 11:28 pm
ChatGPT has some good advice.

I asked it “How do you stop wearing Mormon garments?”

...
Wow, RR, is this a real output from ChatGPT? That's really solid advice. A lot of it isn't very specific for garments and could be applied to any personal change/decision, but isn't that also kind of the point?

As an update, a couple of months ago I finally did it. We sat down and I told her very specifically that I was done with garments, that I was physically and emotionally uncomfortable wearing them. I said I was open to sharing/discussing my specific reasons but it was up to her if she wanted to have that conversation (so far she has not). She tried to bargain and we initially came to a compromise where I would wear them on Sundays, around family (who we don't see in person often because we live far from anyone in either of our families), and maybe every now and then. Her reason for this was so that I could still say I was wearing them in worthiness interviews (which I will no longer submit to anyway, but I'll cross that bridge if/when). A few days later I went and bought a few different types and some black undershirts for when I feel like wearing one.

I tried to adhere to the compromise for a while, but before long I just couldn't do it anymore and I've stopped wearing them almost completely. Still do at church on Sundays for now, but when her parents came to visit I didn't wear them. Didn't try to hide it from her, but I didn't ask permission either. She didn't say anything about it then and hasn't since that conversation. Like Linked predicted, she hasn't given any feedback about it, and like RR predicted, as I have owned my decision and not acted like I'm doing something wrong, she seems to be adjusting to this new normal.

Thanks for all your advice everyone! Glad I'm not the only one going/gone through this stuff.

User avatar
Red Ryder
Posts: 4155
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: It's not all my fault?

Post by Red Ryder » Wed May 03, 2023 11:49 pm

Great update!!

Next step is to throw them away.
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest