Shared The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW

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Linked
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Shared The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW

Post by Linked » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:43 am

I read through some of the stories in Lindsay Hansen Park's post on The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW (discussed in this post). I only read the non-polygamy related stories to her, and none of LHP's commentary. I was trying to share something that scared me with her, specifically that my she and my kids will hate me for not following along regarding church stuff, and that the church will damage my relationships with them.

When I told her I wanted to talk about it she got a look on her face I haven't seen for a while, a look of anger, hatred, and despair. So at least I know how she really feels about dealing with the real me. She was kind enough to sit through it, though at the end she basically told me it's no big deal and don't worry about it. That our family is unique, so we won't necessarily have these issues. I'm not sure what I expected, but I was hoping to connect with her about it more, rather than be told it will be fine and move on.

The thing is, we will have these issues. DW already has these issues with me and my oldest DS probably will too, he seems to be subject to scrupulosity.
"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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Corsair
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Re: Shared The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW

Post by Corsair » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:31 pm

I have endless empathy for you, Linked. This is a really tough issue in a mixed faith marriage. We could compare emotional scars, but I think yours are more serious than mine. The LDS church is tragically inept in dealing with these relationship because two centuries of poor dealings with ex-members. Some of those fears might be warranted and understandable. But my no-so-humble opinion is that the church has earned its enemies through repeated poor handling of these situations. Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

I have managed to avoid the worst of these issues by being a duplicitous, two-faced scoundrel with my ward leaders. I am not emotionally harmed by church and I don't mind lying to maintain a temple recommend. It causes some emotional pain for my wife, particularly during tithing settlement (Bishop: "Are you a full tithe payer?" Me: (has paid nothing) "Yes". Wife: (dies inside, again)).

On the other hand, she does get to have the faithful "appearing" husband who is not committing any overt sins. In my slightly-more-humble opinion, I think I am an objectively good husband and father. I do all of the righteous parent and father duties and don't engage in any scandal like public coffee drinking. Good luck in your adaptations and strategy going forward.

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slavereeno
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Re: Shared The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW

Post by slavereeno » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:49 pm

Linked wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:43 am
When I told her I wanted to talk about it she got a look on her face I haven't seen for a while, a look of anger, hatred, and despair. So at least I know how she really feels about dealing with the real me. She was kind enough to sit through it, though at the end she basically told me it's no big deal and don't worry about it. That our family is unique, so we won't necessarily have these issues. I'm not sure what I expected, but I was hoping to connect with her about it more, rather than be told it will be fine and move on.
I know how you feel. I am sorry Linked.

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jfro18
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Re: Shared The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW

Post by jfro18 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:41 pm

Sorry Linked - this is a no win issue and yet it's the elephant in the room every Sunday.

I brought this up to DW a while back and she kept saying "It'll all work out in the end" and that she didn't think we'd be separated even though the church has made it clear we would... and then she basically just shut it down and said she doesn't want to go into it.

So I took it as a partial win that she didn't put any of it on me, but it was frustrating that she knows the doctrine is there but refuses to acknowledge how it makes either of us really feel.

I'd love to ask her to read this, but I would get the same response as you if I tried.

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Re: Shared The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW

Post by crossmyheart » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:22 am

Your wife's response is similar to my husbands. My husband grew up in a part-member home. Mom was full in, Dad was anti. So for me to break the news to him that I was out was really heartbreaking for him. He grew up being told that he was a lost soul, not sealed to anyone. And then I take away his lifelong dream of having an eternal family by leaving the church.

It really kills me that I did that to him. I hate this church for such a black and white toxic doctrine.

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Linked
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Re: Shared The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW

Post by Linked » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:45 pm

Thanks for the support, it is hard living in a marriage relationship with such a chasm, as you all know. Both sides hurt so deeply when the topic is brought up, and both sides hurt separately and silently when it is left alone. Everybody loses.
"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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Re: Shared The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW

Post by Newme » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:38 am

Sadly, I can relate too well. My dad missed the weddings of all but 1 of his children. Part of the hell my dad went through was my mom who has BPD, but part was the cultish church shaming. I’ve also been shamed and at times have surrendered to depression (took the anger inward on myself). I am learning better though.

Linked, it’s good that you have asserted yourself by pointing out this cultish shaming. (The following is what I’m trying to do too...)
*Keep pointing it out when you notice it - as nicely but assertively as possible.

*Show how this shaming is against what Christ taught (Luke 9:50/Mark 9:40, Luke 10:30 parable of the good Samaritan, who was considered religiously outcast). And explain that Christ’s teachings ought to come BEFORE cultish teachings, otherwise we need to change the name of the church. ;)

*(This may require being more delicate but basically:) Help TBM-loved ones see how they are attached to the church group, as you were, but need to realize it’s like wanting to be part of the popular but bullying group. It’s natural to want to belong, but it shows integrity to resist going along with cruel shaming just because the “gang” is.

*Don’t comply with the shaming in thought, word or action. This may require doing some major soul-searching but be or become secure in the validity of your own beliefs, rights and assert yourself. Eg: Realize your kids need to respect your authority and feel your love for them so give them blessings in your own way. It may be the same laying your hands on their head, or holding their hand and saying a prayer out loud for them. Every morning, I helped my dad with chores and often I’d hear him pray out loud for me... it brings tears to my eyes to this day.

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Linked
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Re: Shared The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW

Post by Linked » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:10 pm

Newme wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:38 am
Sadly, I can relate too well. My dad missed the weddings of all but 1 of his children. Part of the hell my dad went through was my mom who has BPD, but part was the cultish church shaming. I’ve also been shamed and at times have surrendered to depression (took the anger inward on myself). I am learning better though.

Linked, it’s good that you have asserted yourself by pointing out this cultish shaming. (The following is what I’m trying to do too...)
*Keep pointing it out when you notice it - as nicely but assertively as possible.

*Show how this shaming is against what Christ taught (Luke 9:50/Mark 9:40, Luke 10:30 parable of the good Samaritan, who was considered religiously outcast). And explain that Christ’s teachings ought to come BEFORE cultish teachings, otherwise we need to change the name of the church. ;)

*(This may require being more delicate but basically:) Help TBM-loved ones see how they are attached to the church group, as you were, but need to realize it’s like wanting to be part of the popular but bullying group. It’s natural to want to belong, but it shows integrity to resist going along with cruel shaming just because the “gang” is.

*Don’t comply with the shaming in thought, word or action. This may require doing some major soul-searching but be or become secure in the validity of your own beliefs, rights and assert yourself. Eg: Realize your kids need to respect your authority and feel your love for them so give them blessings in your own way. It may be the same laying your hands on their head, or holding their hand and saying a prayer out loud for them. Every morning, I helped my dad with chores and often I’d hear him pray out loud for me... it brings tears to my eyes to this day.
Thanks for the advice Newme. I try to do the things you suggest, but not too often so I don't come off like I'm beating a dead horse. We just had our annual "special prayer" for the new school year with our son where we hold him and pray for his school year. I take a turn, DW takes a turn, and DS gets a turn too. Hopefully that works to let him know I love him and am up to the task of being his spiritual leader.
"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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Emower
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Re: Shared The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW

Post by Emower » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:59 pm

Boy this is hard. I am sorry for the hurt that continues to surface. All of us are. I am not sure if the peace I feel is lasting, or a masking of the chasm between us. I hope its the former.

I just read the article and I agree with it.I think it does bring up an interesting point, from a TBM perspective, that there are damaging things in life that one just deals with as a part of any life situation. For example, I think that there are a few things in America's political foundation that are damaging. The solution for me however is not to abandon America. It is still my preferred home, and there is only so much political agitation that I am willing to engage in. What do you do? The best you can under the circumstances. I think most of our spouses are struggling with this mightily. I think as long as you both remain empathetic you will be OK.

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alas
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Re: Shared The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW

Post by alas » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:47 pm

I have been wondering if I should put on my psychologist hat and explain what I think is going on with the spouses getting upset by this. Remember this may or may not fit your spouse. If it does seem to fit, use it to help you understand their conflicting feelings, not to blame them. So, here goes my theory. They don’t want to talk about it because they feel guilty. They KNOW the church is teaching children to disrespect non believing parents and part of them knows this is wrong, but part of them agrees with it. So, partly they feel guilty that their taking the kids to church teaches them to disrespect the other parent. But partly, they think you deserve the disrespect. Which they also feel guilty over because they love you and don’t want to disrespect you, but you are not living up to their expectations. They feel helpless because they only see one way for the kids to respect you and that is for you to earn it by being a good Mormon.

But my husband’s reaction to the whole situation might help.

My DH and I talked about the article and had a pretty opposite experience. I told him that several NOMs had tried to talk to their spouse about their children being taught to disrespect them, and the spouse reacted badly. He explained to me why he sides with us NOMs on this subject. His Dad. See, my husband grew up with an “unrighteousness parent”and one “righteous parent.” My FIL smoked from the time he was a kid. He started so young that it stunted his growth. He never did lick the habit. But he was so ashamed of his addiction that he refused to attend church. But he constantly fixed the electrical problems of the poor in the ward for no charge. He did all the electrical work on our church building when it was built for no charge. Thousands of dollars worth of labor for no fee. But he was the black sheep of his whole family. My MIL was primary president, RS President. She was supper righteous. But my FIL was more Christian than 99% of the ward DH and I grew up in. So, my DH learned early that God does not judge us on our activity in church. He flat out said that RMN is not going to be our judge. Joseph Smith is not going to be our judge, even though the early church taught that he would be. Jesus Christ is going to be our judge. Jesus will not judge us on “Mormon” standards, but on Christian standards. He said honesty is one of those standards, and the church is falling down on honesty because the problems with the church are real and yet they deal with real problems by pretending nothing is wrong. (Maybe he is partly NOM?)

So, how to counter acts the church’s teachings? Teach your kids Christian values. Continue to have “home church” and teach kindness, charity, honesty. Teach them to tell the difference between religious people and good people. Then they will see the goodness n you, rather than just the lack of religion.

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Newme
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Re: Shared The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW

Post by Newme » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:06 pm

Linked wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:10 pm
Newme wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:38 am
Sadly, I can relate too well. My dad missed the weddings of all but 1 of his children. Part of the hell my dad went through was my mom who has BPD, but part was the cultish church shaming. I’ve also been shamed and at times have surrendered to depression (took the anger inward on myself). I am learning better though.

Linked, it’s good that you have asserted yourself by pointing out this cultish shaming. (The following is what I’m trying to do too...)
*Keep pointing it out when you notice it - as nicely but assertively as possible.

*Show how this shaming is against what Christ taught (Luke 9:50/Mark 9:40, Luke 10:30 parable of the good Samaritan, who was considered religiously outcast). And explain that Christ’s teachings ought to come BEFORE cultish teachings, otherwise we need to change the name of the church. ;)

*(This may require being more delicate but basically:) Help TBM-loved ones see how they are attached to the church group, as you were, but need to realize it’s like wanting to be part of the popular but bullying group. It’s natural to want to belong, but it shows integrity to resist going along with cruel shaming just because the “gang” is.

*Don’t comply with the shaming in thought, word or action. This may require doing some major soul-searching but be or become secure in the validity of your own beliefs, rights and assert yourself. Eg: Realize your kids need to respect your authority and feel your love for them so give them blessings in your own way. It may be the same laying your hands on their head, or holding their hand and saying a prayer out loud for them. Every morning, I helped my dad with chores and often I’d hear him pray out loud for me... it brings tears to my eyes to this day.
Thanks for the advice Newme. I try to do the things you suggest, but not too often so I don't come off like I'm beating a dead horse. We just had our annual "special prayer" for the new school year with our son where we hold him and pray for his school year. I take a turn, DW takes a turn, and DS gets a turn too. Hopefully that works to let him know I love him and am up to the task of being his spiritual leader.
I love that!

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Linked
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Re: Shared The Myth of the Unrighteous Parent with DW

Post by Linked » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:00 pm

alas wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:47 pm
I have been wondering if I should put on my psychologist hat and explain what I think is going on with the spouses getting upset by this. Remember this may or may not fit your spouse. If it does seem to fit, use it to help you understand their conflicting feelings, not to blame them. So, here goes my theory. They don’t want to talk about it because they feel guilty. They KNOW the church is teaching children to disrespect non believing parents and part of them knows this is wrong, but part of them agrees with it. So, partly they feel guilty that their taking the kids to church teaches them to disrespect the other parent. But partly, they think you deserve the disrespect. Which they also feel guilty over because they love you and don’t want to disrespect you, but you are not living up to their expectations. They feel helpless because they only see one way for the kids to respect you and that is for you to earn it by being a good Mormon.

But my husband’s reaction to the whole situation might help.

My DH and I talked about the article and had a pretty opposite experience. I told him that several NOMs had tried to talk to their spouse about their children being taught to disrespect them, and the spouse reacted badly. He explained to me why he sides with us NOMs on this subject. His Dad. See, my husband grew up with an “unrighteousness parent”and one “righteous parent.” My FIL smoked from the time he was a kid. He started so young that it stunted his growth. He never did lick the habit. But he was so ashamed of his addiction that he refused to attend church. But he constantly fixed the electrical problems of the poor in the ward for no charge. He did all the electrical work on our church building when it was built for no charge. Thousands of dollars worth of labor for no fee. But he was the black sheep of his whole family. My MIL was primary president, RS President. She was supper righteous. But my FIL was more Christian than 99% of the ward DH and I grew up in. So, my DH learned early that God does not judge us on our activity in church. He flat out said that RMN is not going to be our judge. Joseph Smith is not going to be our judge, even though the early church taught that he would be. Jesus Christ is going to be our judge. Jesus will not judge us on “Mormon” standards, but on Christian standards. He said honesty is one of those standards, and the church is falling down on honesty because the problems with the church are real and yet they deal with real problems by pretending nothing is wrong. (Maybe he is partly NOM?)

So, how to counter acts the church’s teachings? Teach your kids Christian values. Continue to have “home church” and teach kindness, charity, honesty. Teach them to tell the difference between religious people and good people. Then they will see the goodness n you, rather than just the lack of religion.
Thanks for chiming in Alas, I always appreciate your perspective and posts.

I really got a sense that DW felt like "yeah, of course he's going to disrespect you, you should be disrespected, you are awful." Though I am not objective in how I read things like this, so I could be wrong. [Redacted]

Your FIL sounds like a saint. What a guy. I hope I can be half as good an example to my kids.

I try to teach the kids morals outside of the church perspective in hopes they will see how they collide and they can recognize how weak of an argument the church has. To DW's credit, she pushes the concept that some people are different and not bad really hard with the kids. Hopefully it works out.
"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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