Update on my "Slow Fade"

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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Deepthinker
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Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by Deepthinker » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:34 am

Wow, so many things have happened since I opened up to our bishop about my loss of faith in JS and the church.

I've been released from the calling as GD teacher, and don't have an official calling right now. I've been just going to sacrament meeting.

Bishop sends me texts periodically, quotes from GC talks. Not too many, doesn't annoy me, but I feel like I might be becoming a "project". This last Sunday was our stake conference, and I forced myself to go. The first talk, from the stake president, who I know was all about not losing your faith for historical or intellectual reasons. I could easily tell that our bishop had talked to him, and that the reason for his talk was in large part because of me doing so. He did nothing but pound the pulpit, quoted scriptures to vilify those who leave as proud, stiff-necked, blind mind, etc. "O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish." And other similar scriptures, referencing Korihor, etc. He portrayed JS as a humble farm boy, who went to pray to find out which church to join. I tried to let it wash over me, but some of it stuck and bothered me. I told DW about it after and we ended up arguing, she loved his talk and agreed with everything in it.

As far as things with DW, they aren't good. A few weeks before stake conference, we were discussing our son who joined the deacons quorum. She expressed concern about him looking at porn. I said that I think it's normal for him to look at it now and then, and that I didn't want to shame him for that. She told me that I can just leave then, and she’ll raise the kids on her own.

I talked with her about how I don’t know what else to try to make things work for me with the church, and letting her know I’m close to just leaving it all together. Her response was: “don’t you worry that will be the end of us?” She was referring to our relationship, our marriage, as though in her mind if I leave it automatically assumes we split. That hurt, along with other discussions I’ve had with her. I am continuing to feel as though our marriage is only church-deep, that its foundations were built that way.

I have tried for the last several years since I opened up to her about my faith transition to strengthen our marriage, to do counseling, to go through a marriage workbook. She didn’t want any of that.

Also, our 18 year old daughter who will graduate this year and will turn 19 in October says she wants to go on a mission. I’ll likely be blamed if she doesn’t end up going.

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crossmyheart
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by crossmyheart » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:48 am

Your wife doesn't know any different. You are becoming the embodiment of everything we were warned NOT to do and she cannot even fathom that there is any happiness in the direction you are heading. But remember she only believes that because that is what she has had drilled in to her. Her eyes only see black and white and you are trying to show her there are also a million shades of gray.

I am truly sorry. Keep trying to show her that you can still be a good man without the church in your life.

There is no guessing which way your marriage will turn out, but it sounds like you are giving it your best.

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græy
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by græy » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:53 am

Deepthinker wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:34 am
I said that I think it's normal for him to look at it now and then, and that I didn't want to shame him for that. She told me that I can just leave then, and she’ll raise the kids on her own.

I talked with her about how I don’t know what else to try to make things work for me with the church, and letting her know I’m close to just leaving it all together. Her response was: “don’t you worry that will be the end of us?”
crossmyheart wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:48 am
Your wife doesn't know any different. You are becoming the embodiment of everything we were warned NOT to do and she cannot even fathom that there is any happiness in the direction you are heading. But remember she only believes that because that is what she has had drilled in to her. Her eyes only see black and white and you are trying to show her there are also a million shades of gray.
crossmyheart is right. She is responding exactly as she's been directed to for her entire life. But, you can still meet her on a middle ground somewhere here.

I agree that shaming kids for porn is not effective and can be severely damaging. But that doesn't mean to you need to provide opportunity and means for your son to access it. The desire to view or explore sexual material is 100% normal, but it it is not a need and can be detrimental to young minds if it is engaged without restriction.

If you help put filters/schedules/plans in place to limit exposure, have discussions with your son that porn does not accurately reflect reality, and let him know that he is ALWAYS welcome to talk to you and/or your wife about questions dealing with sex, that approach may go a long way towards her viewing the both of you as still being on the same team. Shame doesn't need to have any place in the matter.

As for leaving the church being the end of a marriage.... We recently had some friends over for dinner and we discussed a family that recently left our ward. One of our friends at our house commented along the lines of every couple he knew where one spouse had left the church eventually divorced. I immediately responded by listing off more than 9 couples currently in our ward who had one spouse or the other leave while the other remained active, and who were still happily married (at least in appearance). We did find one couple who had both left the church and had maybe separated for a few months, but that was as close as we got.

In my mind, the fact that we could not actually name a single couple who had divorced among 9-10 families we have known over the last ~5 years, showed that divorce is not a direct result of one spouse leaving. But our friend persisted. "Why would you stay married if they no longer have the same goals?" "If the eternal marriage is over, why not get out of the temporal one?"

I was blown away. His poor wife was sitting right there! And now she knows that to him the sum total of her worth is the fact that the church says they are sealed. He doesn't love her as a person. He is not committed to her because of who she is and what she means to him. He loves the idea of them checking that eternal checkbox. And if her beliefs changed there would be no reason in his mind to be with her.

I pointed out that was very black/white view. There are recent (within the last couple of years) ensign articles that from H. B. Eyring talking about when beloved family members don't appear to be on the celestial track. He basically promises that "It will all work out." He explains that HF loves us and will see that things are arranged to keep families intact and provide for the best happiness of all.

That either means that the "celestial" individuals will be so happy they stayed faithful that they'll just no longer care about the ones they lost. (bullsh*t) Or God will find a way to keep us together anyway. There are probably dozens of quotes from church leaders you could scrape together to show that husbands and wives on the "celestial path" together will continue that way despite differences in belief and practice. Every couple has differences and imbalances anyway, we're just talking about extra shades of gray here. But that is hard to see in a black and white world.

Wow, this is really long. Sorry. I'm sorry this is so hard.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Red Ryder
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:24 am

DT, my best unsolicited advice mirrors crossmyheart's. Focus on becoming the best man you can be. Not for your wife, her Bishop, or whomever, but for yourself. Then if things don't work out between you both, you will have a better foundation to pursue life as a divorced man. Focus on yourself. Be selfish as needed.

9 out of 10 NOM's recommend taking care of yourself.

Are you exercising and getting enough sleep?
Are you doing things that you enjoy and make you happy?
Are you limiting your mormon intake?
Are you laughing at something everyday? If not I highly recommend taking a shirtless drive! Ask Kish, he's tried it. Of course he's half redneck so his neighbors think it's normal.
Are you listening to any good books?

My therapist had great advice when I said I wasn't sure it was worth staying married. She said "if either of you know that now, and both aren't willing to work hard to make your marriage work, then you can save a lot of time and money by starting the divorce process today." That made it real for both of us and we left our appointment with a heavy dose of reality.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by Mormorrisey » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:30 am

That was hard to read, deepthinker. I'm sorry this is happening to you.

I can only echo the great advice by both crossmyheart and RR. Being the best you can be is the only thing you can control.
"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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RubinHighlander
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:41 am

Deepthinker wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:34 am
Her response was: “don’t you worry that will be the end of us?” She was referring to our relationship, our marriage, as though in her mind if I leave it automatically assumes we split. That hurt, along with other discussions I’ve had with her. I am continuing to feel as though our marriage is only church-deep, that its foundations were built that way.
No blanket answers there to fix it; I empathize completely with your difficult situation. The day I hinted I was having doubts it sent my DW into some bad painful cogdis. I'll never forget her saying "I never signed up for this!" Meaning I was to blame for destroying our eternal marriage. I empathized with her and told her I never signed up for the problems and doubts I was having with the church, I really wanted to believe but I was also finding the truth and feeling very betrayed and hurt over it and I was honest with her in showing her how painful that was for me. I reassured her I'd stay active and do whatever I needed to keep our relationship together because she mattered more than the church or my doubts about it. I doubled down on being a good loving and happy husband, but at the same time I started my double life as a NOM. As a NOM I was freeing myself mentally from all the church BS and entertaining it was not true at all, that I'd been duped. I had a beer with the boys at work once in a while and I'd get DW and I out for weekend trips and adventures as much as possible. As I firmed up the foundation of our love and relationship it gave her a sure place to land if she ever decided to not believe anymore. In fact the trips away from church began to show her how much better life could be. Not everyone will be in the same place we were or have the means to make this happen. Our kids were older, with just one at home and DWs kids were either not going to church or having their own doubts, which was her catalyst to her own journey out.

Red's advice is good, I'm one of the 9. Find some things outside of church to keep sane and find happiness, even if it's a hypocritical life you never disclose to loved ones. Grab some beer and head to the mountains or lake or desert and watch the sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, stars, clouds, etc., Go out in the desert and shoot a gun, listen to some loud angry music. Drive around temple square with your finger out the window. Find your zen and find something cathartic to help your stress levels, then try to be an even more awesome husband to your DW, avoiding putting the church in the middle.

Good luck and if you are in SLC I will buy you a beer!
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

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Lithium Sunset
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by Lithium Sunset » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:01 pm

Deepthinker wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:34 am
As far as things with DW, they aren't good. A few weeks before stake conference, we were discussing our son who joined the deacons quorum. She expressed concern about him looking at porn. I said that I think it's normal for him to look at it now and then, and that I didn't want to shame him for that. She told me that I can just leave then, and she’ll raise the kids on her own.

I talked with her about how I don’t know what else to try to make things work for me with the church, and letting her know I’m close to just leaving it all together. Her response was: “don’t you worry that will be the end of us?” She was referring to our relationship, our marriage, as though in her mind if I leave it automatically assumes we split. That hurt, along with other discussions I’ve had with her. I am continuing to feel as though our marriage is only church-deep, that its foundations were built that way.
What’s done is done but you by passed calming her fears and saying something like boys are curious about their own bodies or boys have hormones and sexual urges so we shouldn’t shame them and instead went straight to porn is okay. I guarantee she didn’t even hear the moderation part. You might as well have punched her.
I told my sons that they should take care of their urges (sexually frustrated people can really suck) but to under no circumstances do it to porn... it absolutely can affect your future sexual relationship. It can also change your view of what a woman’s body really looks like, especially after children. I can’t blame your wife for being upset or worried. She probably worries that you look at it right now... you can’t imagine how bad it can make women feel about their own bodies.
Sorry it that’s soap box but hopefully you have some perspective on how your comment hurt your wife. I know that it’s just one piece of your puzzle but it’s a big piece to her through the lens of Mormonism.
I feel for both of you. Best of luck. I am very glad you are on the path to authenticity, however bumply and painful the road may be.
"The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong." -Laura Ingalls Wilder

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slavereeno
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by slavereeno » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:11 pm

I don't have any better advice to offer, but I am sorry to hear this has gone badly. I don't understand how leaders think disparaging the doubter is going to help someone in that situation.

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jfro18
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by jfro18 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:15 pm

This is such a rough thread to read - so sorry you're going through this.

The porn stuff is just such a line in the sand. I think if I know my kid is looking at it (or for it) I'd definitely initiate the conversation with him about it. I know I can't stop him from looking at it once he's at an age where he knows how to find it (he's six and Googles stuff on the solar system with ease, so at six they can find things easy now), but porn can be destructive for not people especially in the way it presents not just sex with objectification of women, etc.

So I can see why that's a big deal especially from a mother's point of view and then add the church to that and I can see why she's reacting as she did. So maybe that's an area where you can work back in another conversation that while you don't want to shame him, it's time to talk to him about what's healthy and try to work with her on a plan for that to help mend that a bit?

Otherwise I know so many in the same boat as you and many of us here. I'm still working through it with my wife and it's gotten to a point where we just don't talk about it but it hangs overhead. Last week she replied to someone on Twitter diminishing the twitter account I use to talk church stuff... and I was just like "You know I can see that, right?" It was the most awkward thing - she did not think I would see it and what she said wasn't horrible, but it is just another reminder of how big the wedge has gotten.

I wish I had advice, but since I'm still struggling I suppose it wouldn't be worth a whole lot. :lol:

My wife is definitely understanding of me not going, but when it comes to our kid that's where we hit the wall... I want to be able to teach him about critical thinking and some basic church issues and she doesn't want him to hear anything but what the church wants him to hear. So right now he's not going until we can find something that works... whatever that might be. But reading what you're going through now with older kid scares me to death, because I know what lies ahead.

I'm rambling now... sorry. I just feel for you and if you ever want to talk offline PM me anytime - I work at home so could commiserate with you anytime during the day on phone or here or wherever!

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Random
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by Random » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:17 pm

Deepthinker wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:34 am
"O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not.
I think this scripture fits the leaders of churches more than the common people who are under their control (or who they hope/wish were under their control).
[They] which knew me from the beginning . . . would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
Acts 26:5

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Random
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by Random » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:21 pm

It sounds like your wife has some very strong beliefs or fears. I hope they mellow and even disappear. I hope she comes to realize that marriage can be (and ought to be) based on something deeper than following men who claim to speak for God, even though they never see him and don't quote what he said to them (in these nonexistent visions - sigh). I hope you can be so loving and good as a husband and person that she sees that choosing the church over you, and/or sees that forcing you out because of the church would be a serious mistake.
[They] which knew me from the beginning . . . would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
Acts 26:5

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Random
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by Random » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:51 pm

This might be encouraging (from another thread).
malkie wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:36 am
When I told my wife that I no longer believed in the church, the first thing she said was "I don't think we can stay married."

That was 20 years ago, and we are still married, and still in love with each other.
[They] which knew me from the beginning . . . would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
Acts 26:5

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MalcolmVillager
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by MalcolmVillager » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:25 pm

Sorry. This is hard on both of you. The advice here is spot on.

I have often seen the refrain that if having religion in your life is required to be a moral person, you have no morals. (Or other similar refrains).

If having a common religion (and its goals, morals, community) is the only thing keeping your marriage together, you dont really have a marriage.

Life os more complicated than that. We all do stuff we dont want to, say stuff we dont believe, believe stuff we dont know, know stuff we dont think about, think about stuff we dont want to, worry about stuff that isnt rational, etc...

Love her. Tell her that. Show her that. Give it all you can. Divorce is the end of your problems sometimes. Which end is the bigger question. Often that is a permanent solution to temporary problems.

Solidarity brother. Not to give you false hope. Everyone's path is different, and I truly believe that missed faith marriages can work. They are a lot of work, but there is no reason they are terminal. My DW is coming along in her FC and has all but lost faith in JS, BOM, and the COJCOLDS in regards to their narrative and truth claims. I am not sure of either or both of us will end out of the church completely some day but it is so refreshing that we can just talk about facts and perspectives without feeling threatened. The kids, community, and family all make it very complicated. If it were up to me I would take a year off without blinking. Maybe I would be back, but never in the same si.ple TBM form.

Good luck on the slow fade. That has been my approach too and it is working out as well as these messy things can.

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Linked
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by Linked » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:47 pm

Deepthinker wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:34 am
This last Sunday was our stake conference, and I forced myself to go. The first talk, from the stake president, who I know was all about not losing your faith for historical or intellectual reasons. I could easily tell that our bishop had talked to him, and that the reason for his talk was in large part because of me doing so. He did nothing but pound the pulpit, quoted scriptures to vilify those who leave as proud, stiff-necked, blind mind, etc. "O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish." And other similar scriptures, referencing Korihor, etc. He portrayed JS as a humble farm boy, who went to pray to find out which church to join. I tried to let it wash over me, but some of it stuck and bothered me. I told DW about it after and we ended up arguing, she loved his talk and agreed with everything in it.

As far as things with DW, they aren't good. A few weeks before stake conference, we were discussing our son who joined the deacons quorum. She expressed concern about him looking at porn. I said that I think it's normal for him to look at it now and then, and that I didn't want to shame him for that. She told me that I can just leave then, and she’ll raise the kids on her own.

I talked with her about how I don’t know what else to try to make things work for me with the church, and letting her know I’m close to just leaving it all together. Her response was: “don’t you worry that will be the end of us?” She was referring to our relationship, our marriage, as though in her mind if I leave it automatically assumes we split. That hurt, along with other discussions I’ve had with her. I am continuing to feel as though our marriage is only church-deep, that its foundations were built that way.

I have tried for the last several years since I opened up to her about my faith transition to strengthen our marriage, to do counseling, to go through a marriage workbook. She didn’t want any of that.

Also, our 18 year old daughter who will graduate this year and will turn 19 in October says she wants to go on a mission. I’ll likely be blamed if she doesn’t end up going.
This hits really close to home, solidarity Deepthinker. My boys are still little, so DW and I haven't had to broach the subject of how to handle possible porn use by them, but I could see your exact conversation happening with us. And the church lessons that are so hurtful that resonate with the TBM, it makes you wonder how they heard it so differently than you. My DW also strongly resists counseling and the marriage workbook too(though we did get a few pages into the workbook and a few sessions of therapy, but they just made her sad/mad and did not bring us closer together because it was more like me prying her open than her opening up to me, she reacted like I was being emotionally violent by trying to get her to open up).

Lately I have been fantasizing about really turning the tables. Giving her the ultimatums, veiled or not, and let her be the one to capitulate or leave. It hasn't been healthy.

Anyway, you are not alone.
"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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Deepthinker
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Re: Update on my "Slow Fade"

Post by Deepthinker » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:50 pm

Linked wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:47 pm
Deepthinker wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:34 am
This last Sunday was our stake conference, and I forced myself to go. The first talk, from the stake president, who I know was all about not losing your faith for historical or intellectual reasons. I could easily tell that our bishop had talked to him, and that the reason for his talk was in large part because of me doing so. He did nothing but pound the pulpit, quoted scriptures to vilify those who leave as proud, stiff-necked, blind mind, etc. "O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish." And other similar scriptures, referencing Korihor, etc. He portrayed JS as a humble farm boy, who went to pray to find out which church to join. I tried to let it wash over me, but some of it stuck and bothered me. I told DW about it after and we ended up arguing, she loved his talk and agreed with everything in it.

As far as things with DW, they aren't good. A few weeks before stake conference, we were discussing our son who joined the deacons quorum. She expressed concern about him looking at porn. I said that I think it's normal for him to look at it now and then, and that I didn't want to shame him for that. She told me that I can just leave then, and she’ll raise the kids on her own.

I talked with her about how I don’t know what else to try to make things work for me with the church, and letting her know I’m close to just leaving it all together. Her response was: “don’t you worry that will be the end of us?” She was referring to our relationship, our marriage, as though in her mind if I leave it automatically assumes we split. That hurt, along with other discussions I’ve had with her. I am continuing to feel as though our marriage is only church-deep, that its foundations were built that way.

I have tried for the last several years since I opened up to her about my faith transition to strengthen our marriage, to do counseling, to go through a marriage workbook. She didn’t want any of that.

Also, our 18 year old daughter who will graduate this year and will turn 19 in October says she wants to go on a mission. I’ll likely be blamed if she doesn’t end up going.
This hits really close to home, solidarity Deepthinker. My boys are still little, so DW and I haven't had to broach the subject of how to handle possible porn use by them, but I could see your exact conversation happening with us. And the church lessons that are so hurtful that resonate with the TBM, it makes you wonder how they heard it so differently than you. My DW also strongly resists counseling and the marriage workbook too(though we did get a few pages into the workbook and a few sessions of therapy, but they just made her sad/mad and did not bring us closer together because it was more like me prying her open than her opening up to me, she reacted like I was being emotionally violent by trying to get her to open up).

Lately I have been fantasizing about really turning the tables. Giving her the ultimatums, veiled or not, and let her be the one to capitulate or leave. It hasn't been healthy.

Anyway, you are not alone.
Thanks Linked, I know I'm not alone and that definitely helps. Yes, I've thought about doing turning the tables too, but those are still fantasies right now.

Happy to be sharing journeys with others, just not happy about the journey sometimes and that we all have to go through this.

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