Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

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stuck
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Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by stuck » Tue May 18, 2021 12:07 pm

I have felt some distance in my relationship with my wife lately. Not sure what it is. I haven't been as transparent as I should on some things and she knows this. I have been thinking of speaking with her again about these things to see if we could compromise on some of these things like paying tithing, wearing garments, listening to things critical of Mormonism and Christianity and drinking coffee and tea. I would like to keep my marriage and family together, but if she's not willing to compromise enough on some things then perhaps I will feel stifled and not want to stay married.

Has anyone else been down this road and if so how did you make it work or not. Any regrets for those who got divorced?

Thanks for your input!

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Red Ryder
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by Red Ryder » Tue May 18, 2021 4:14 pm

If your complacent then spend your time, emotional energy, and money going through therapy. If you’re ready to kill each other than get a divorce. :lol:

Sister Ryder and I did therapy for about 16 weeks and came away with skills to resolve our issues and develop a closer relationship.

Here’s my money saving advice:

Learn to talk to each other.
Learn to be empathetic.
Learn to turn towards each other during conflict.
Learn to focus on common goals and future.

Learn to become indifferent to the church.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

stuck
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by stuck » Tue May 18, 2021 4:37 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 4:14 pm
If your complacent then spend your time, emotional energy, and money going through therapy. If you’re ready to kill each other than get a divorce. :lol:

Sister Ryder and I did therapy for about 16 weeks and came away with skills to resolve our issues and develop a closer relationship.

Here’s my money saving advice:

Learn to talk to each other.
Learn to be empathetic.
Learn to turn towards each other during conflict.
Learn to focus on common goals and future.

Learn to become indifferent to the church.
That's really good advice RR. I think divorce is expensive (half of my net probably) and if we can make it work it would be better for the kids and probably for us as well.

Thank you!

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jfro18
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by jfro18 » Tue May 18, 2021 5:13 pm

Being in the middle of a mixed faith marriage that is not exactly on the other end of this, I would just suggest that you exhaust all other options first.

I would recommend therapy either by yourself or, more importantly, as a couple to try and both get some things out of your system and look for ways to find common ground.

The other thing is that you said you haven't been as transparent as you want to be, so I would say that I would talk to her about all of that before considering divorce. Maybe she will surprise you... maybe she won't, but you won't know unless you try. I say that knowing that in my situation being transparent has only made DW retrench, so when you do decide to have those conversations just try to be as soft and gentle as you can because from a believer's standpoint it feels like they're being punched in the face with this stuff - literally.

I hope things work out for you and I hope you're able to find a solution that allows you to live in a way that makes you happy -- I know mixed faith marriages are difficult and I wish there was a better answer but I've yet to find one!

stuck
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by stuck » Tue May 18, 2021 7:51 pm

I hope things work out for you and I hope you're able to find a solution that allows you to live in a way that makes you happy -- I know mixed faith marriages are difficult and I wish there was a better answer but I've yet to find one!
[/quote]

Thanks jfro18! I think that's why she doesn't ask me about my behavior constantly, because she probably doesn't want to hear what I'm not telling her. Anyway, I agree I should try to improve things between us and perhaps find another counselor who may help. I think things are pretty good until church stuff surfaces either her being her orthodox self or when some of my unorthodox behavior is revealed.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by Red Ryder » Wed May 19, 2021 11:07 am

I’ll add to this from our experience.

Counselor was LDS so she understood the dynamic of a mixed faith struggle. The very first session she asked if it was a deal breaker. She asked us both individually. We both said no. Then she asked us to explain our reason why we said no. We then expressed mutual admiration for the relationship as well as mutual frustrations. She then said, ok we can work on those areas. She was assessing how deep the divide was.

Have an honest conversation with your wife and ask her if you leaving the church is a deal breaker. If deep down it is, then you know what work you’ll have to do to overcome the issues or she’ll have to decide to leave or stay.

Deep down, most people don’t divorce simply over religious indifference. They learn to tolerate each other.

Honestly, and I say this with the benefit of looking back 15 years later, but if I could have a do over I would have chose divorced over trying to make a mixed faith marriage work. I simply say this because then I would have had the benefit of 15 years completely out of the church. Staying married has just kept me in, albeit one foot. I’d have not had to experience all of the mixed faith marriage frustrations. But then again I probably would have had a new set of frustrations like co-parenting and shared custody etc. so the grass really isn’t greener.

I’m happy that I stayed in my marriage and made it work so far. I just realize that church induced frustrations will always be a part of our relationship. I accept that. I realize the same holds true for the relationships with all TBM family members. You learn to accept that and not let it bother you until it does. Then you come to NOM and vent and we all agree and support each other.

Read about Gottman’s sound relationship house.

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

dogbite
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by dogbite » Wed May 19, 2021 11:29 am

Figure out your debt.

Once you divorce, your income changes in unforseen ways. While the divorce decree will say who is responsible for what debts, any debt you're signatory to can and will be collected from you regardless of what the decree says. One or both of you will likely face bankruptcy.

Ideally, you would each take out new loans in your name only for your agreed upon part of the debt. Use this loan money to pay off the existing loans. Verify the loan was paid.

Change keys to everything. Any compatible key leftover will be used against you by the other when their car breaks down, or to filch some item in dispute. Similarly, change your safe deposit box, PO box and so on.

Set up any payments as garnishment so there is no dispute about when and how much was paid. You'll save time and money in court afterwards.

Do not badmouth your ex. This only breeds problems you'll pay for in attorney fees.

Imho, don't fight about property/possessions. Just add the offset value to your settlement. You can replace it at cheaper rates than attorney fees in court. It's not about winning, it's about not losing your shirt to your attorneys willingness to fight at hourly rates.

stuck
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by stuck » Wed May 19, 2021 12:14 pm

Great advice guys.

Dogbite, I take it you were divorced and I know everyone's situation is different but are you happy that you went through with it or do you have any regrets. Only share what you care to.

Thanks

dogbite
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by dogbite » Wed May 19, 2021 12:23 pm

No, I'm not divorced. I watched people get divorced as part of a college class and i worked collections while in college. Very eye-opening. It's public session. Go watch divorces if you're thinking about it. People get hung up on punishing the ex rather than the divorce itself.

As a collector, divorce was a major triggering event for financial chaos among the people i called.

stuck
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by stuck » Wed May 19, 2021 1:09 pm

dogbite wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 12:23 pm
No, I'm not divorced. I watched people get divorced as part of a college class and i worked collections while in college. Very eye-opening. It's public session. Go watch divorces if you're thinking about it. People get hung up on punishing the ex rather than the divorce itself.

As a collector, divorce was a major triggering event for financial chaos among the people i called.
Thanks for the info. I'll have to check it out.

stuck
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by stuck » Wed May 19, 2021 1:13 pm

Read about Gottman’s sound relationship house.

Image
[/quote]

Thanks RR. By the way what is "self soothing"?

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jfro18
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by jfro18 » Wed May 19, 2021 1:51 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 11:07 am
Honestly, and I say this with the benefit of looking back 15 years later, but if I could have a do over I would have chose divorced over trying to make a mixed faith marriage work. I simply say this because then I would have had the benefit of 15 years completely out of the church. Staying married has just kept me in, albeit one foot. I’d have not had to experience all of the mixed faith marriage frustrations. But then again I probably would have had a new set of frustrations like co-parenting and shared custody etc. so the grass really isn’t greener.
This is what I always think of as the "sliding doors moment" type of thought (from the movie Sliding Doors), where you wonder what life would be like had you made just one decision differently - in this case a pretty major one.

I think about that with all sorts of big decisions and the reality is, as you said, it's impossible to know what life would be like if you took the other choice... but it's also hard not to wonder especially given something like church that impacts daily life even after you walk away from it.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by Red Ryder » Wed May 19, 2021 3:25 pm

stuck wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 1:13 pm
Thanks RR. By the way what is "self soothing"?
It’s recognizing (in the context of conflict), that you need to stop, exit, and calm down so that you can come back to the discussion (argument) with a level head and continue.
The most effective way to counteract stonewalling in your relationship is a healthy alternative called physiological self-soothing. But first, you both need to stop the discussion using the “time out” signal that you’ve determined works for both of you. If you keep going, you’ll find yourself exploding at your partner, or imploding and stonewalling, neither of which will get you anywhere other than one step farther down the relationship cascade that leads to separation.

The most reasonable strategy is to let your partner know that you’re feeling flooded and need a break. It’s crucial that during this time you avoid thoughts of righteous indignation and innocent victimhood. Many people find that the best approach to self-soothing is to focus on calming the body
https://www.gottman.com/blog/how-to-pr ... -soothing/
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Red Ryder
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by Red Ryder » Wed May 19, 2021 3:28 pm

Dogbite, excellent advice.

Watching a friend go through her divorce now. It’s been eye opening to see the amount of money they’ve had to pay to their respective attorneys because they are fighting an emotional battle rather than focusing on equally splitting the marital assets and custody arrangements.

It’s understandable but in the end it’s the attorneys that win and they pay for the pettiness.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Advocate
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by Advocate » Thu May 20, 2021 1:49 pm

Stuck,

I'm in a mixed-faith marriage, never divorced, but certainly had some hard times where we both considered it. A couple things that helped me:

(1) I recognized that my wife married a returned-missionary in the temple who was a TBM. She had certain expectations, and it wasn't unreasonable IMO for her to have those expectations.
(2) I recognized that we got along pretty well and the only major rift was the church. We were not in a situation where we "fell out" of love.
(3) I thought about what divorce would do to my kids, and what tradeoffs would be worth it. I came to the conclusion that I didn't care about the outside things (e.g. coffee, alcohol, garments, sitting in church each week) enough to risk screwing up my kids with a divorce. Inside things (e.g. what I think, being willing to listen to different viewpoints) were important enough to me that I would consider a divorce instead of giving giving up those inside things. I'm by nature an introvert, so this works for me. YMMV.
(4) I followed advice on the old board which was to be the best husband I could possibly be.

The initial blowup where all this came about was 7 years ago. We're in a pretty good place now. My wife knows I don't believe and isn't happy about it, but she doesn't make it an issue. From an outward appearance I am a good member. I hold a calling (actually in the bishopric right now), I don't break the WOW (I'm a health nut anyway so this isn't an issue for me), and wear garments most of the time (I work and exercise at home and wear work out clothes regularly). Sunday school at church drives me nuts, so I can usually find a reason to avoid it; if not, I have a smart phone to play on. I do the finances in our family and we don't pay tithing and haven't for years. I'm pretty sure my wife knows, but she doesn't ask and isn't involved in our finances at all. I don't know what the future will hold for us, but we're in a good place now and I don't see it changing much. My wife has softened on the church stuff quite a bit over the years.

The only non-starter you put in your initial post for me would be my wife telling me what I can and cannot read, listen to, think about, etc. My wife isn't my mother and I won't follow her commands. With that being said, I used to listen to mormon podcasts a ton but have gone away from that because they got boring and because I didn't like some of the negativity. I listen some now here and there, but I have other interests (non-religoius) and listen to those podcasts more.

That's my experience. Life is good for now. I do worry a bit about what will happen the kids grow up and leave, but that is a fight for another day.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by Red Ryder » Thu May 20, 2021 4:55 pm

“Advocate” wrote: That's my experience. Life is good for now. I do worry a bit about what will happen the kids grow up and leave, but that is a fight for another day.
Thanks for sharing Advocate. Sums up where I’m at minus the garments. :lol:

As for my kids, one has flown the nest already and lives a pretty independent life as an inactive Mormon. The missionaries stopped by on accident and we got a call asking if we had sent them. Nope. :lol:

The others still have a few years of highs school left but are leaning away from missions etc. kids will learn a lot from the parent that doesn’t believe. Even if silently picking up on the things you never say. Like a testimony!

Mothers have to accept that their kids have a life of their own and will choose to be a part of the church or not. There’s nothing she can do about it except for pray they stay.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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nibbler
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by nibbler » Thu May 20, 2021 6:38 pm

stuck wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 12:07 pm
I have been thinking of speaking with her again about these things to see if we could compromise on some of these things like paying tithing, wearing garments, listening to things critical of Mormonism and Christianity and drinking coffee and tea.
I'm curious...

Is it you not comfortable with her paying tithing or her not comfortable with you not paying tithing?
Is it you not comfortable with her wearing garments or her not comfortable you not wearing garments?
Is it you wanting her to listen to things that are critical of Mormonism and Christianity or her not wanting you to listen to things that are critical of Mormonism and Christianity? Or her not wanting to listen to you say anything critical of Mormonism and Christianity?
Is it you wanting her to drink coffee and tea or her wanting you to not drink coffee and tea?

Or maybe you don't know where you guys stand on any of those issues.

One spouse trying to convert the other can cause issues.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

stuck
Posts: 137
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by stuck » Fri May 21, 2021 11:03 am

Advocate wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 1:49 pm
Stuck,

I'm in a mixed-faith marriage, never divorced, but certainly had some hard times where we both considered it. A couple things that helped me:

(1) I recognized that my wife married a returned-missionary in the temple who was a TBM. She had certain expectations, and it wasn't unreasonable IMO for her to have those expectations.
(2) I recognized that we got along pretty well and the only major rift was the church. We were not in a situation where we "fell out" of love.
(3) I thought about what divorce would do to my kids, and what tradeoffs would be worth it. I came to the conclusion that I didn't care about the outside things (e.g. coffee, alcohol, garments, sitting in church each week) enough to risk screwing up my kids with a divorce. Inside things (e.g. what I think, being willing to listen to different viewpoints) were important enough to me that I would consider a divorce instead of giving giving up those inside things. I'm by nature an introvert, so this works for me. YMMV.
(4) I followed advice on the old board which was to be the best husband I could possibly be.

The initial blowup where all this came about was 7 years ago. We're in a pretty good place now. My wife knows I don't believe and isn't happy about it, but she doesn't make it an issue. From an outward appearance I am a good member. I hold a calling (actually in the bishopric right now), I don't break the WOW (I'm a health nut anyway so this isn't an issue for me), and wear garments most of the time (I work and exercise at home and wear work out clothes regularly). Sunday school at church drives me nuts, so I can usually find a reason to avoid it; if not, I have a smart phone to play on. I do the finances in our family and we don't pay tithing and haven't for years. I'm pretty sure my wife knows, but she doesn't ask and isn't involved in our finances at all. I don't know what the future will hold for us, but we're in a good place now and I don't see it changing much. My wife has softened on the church stuff quite a bit over the years.

The only non-starter you put in your initial post for me would be my wife telling me what I can and cannot read, listen to, think about, etc. My wife isn't my mother and I won't follow her commands. With that being said, I used to listen to mormon podcasts a ton but have gone away from that because they got boring and because I didn't like some of the negativity. I listen some now here and there, but I have other interests (non-religoius) and listen to those podcasts more.

That's my experience. Life is good for now. I do worry a bit about what will happen the kids grow up and leave, but that is a fight for another day.
Thanks for your response Advocate! I think like you that one of the most important considerations is what it would do to my kids. Some would argue that leaving them in the church might screw them up. But I think if a couple can maintain a civil marriage where it would provide a stable environment for kids that would be best right?

Like you also, I don't like to be told what I can and cannot read or listen to, so that is a bother. But maybe this is one of those things where I can make a compromise with her like perhaps I can strike a balance such as one day listen to something that is not antagonistic to the church or Christianity.

Also I think it might be difficult for me to give up drinking coffee and not wearing my garment top at work (it gets so hot with it on).

But like we tell our kids we can't always have what we want. So maybe I'll have to give up something to save the marriage.

stuck
Posts: 137
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by stuck » Fri May 21, 2021 11:13 am

nibbler wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 6:38 pm
stuck wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 12:07 pm
I have been thinking of speaking with her again about these things to see if we could compromise on some of these things like paying tithing, wearing garments, listening to things critical of Mormonism and Christianity and drinking coffee and tea.
I'm curious...

Is it you not comfortable with her paying tithing or her not comfortable with you not paying tithing?
Is it you not comfortable with her wearing garments or her not comfortable you not wearing garments?
Is it you wanting her to listen to things that are critical of Mormonism and Christianity or her not wanting you to listen to things that are critical of Mormonism and Christianity? Or her not wanting to listen to you say anything critical of Mormonism and Christianity?
Is it you wanting her to drink coffee and tea or her wanting you to not drink coffee and tea?

Or maybe you don't know where you guys stand on any of those issues.

One spouse trying to convert the other can cause issues.
Nibbler,

I have been paying tithing on our true "increase" like spending or extra money that doesn't go for necessities. I am really paying more than that but it is closer than the true net income that is left over after the government gets their share. She may have a problem with that and so if I were more transparent, I could let her know this and if she is not ok with it then we may have to make a compromise on tithing.

She wants me to wear garments most of the time. If it were up to me I wouldn't especially at work. So if she knew I was taking my garment top off at work even though it gets too hot, she would probably have a problem with it.

Then it is her not wanting me to listen to things critical of Mormonism or Christianity that is a stressor.

Lastly it's her not wanting me to drink coffee/tea.

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jfro18
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Re: Any advice for those contemplating divorce?

Post by jfro18 » Fri May 21, 2021 1:26 pm

stuck wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 11:13 am
She wants me to wear garments most of the time. If it were up to me I wouldn't especially at work. So if she knew I was taking my garment top off at work even though it gets too hot, she would probably have a problem with it.
When I stopped going to church this was the first (and really only) change I made - i hated garments for so many reasons, so the moment I stopped going I went back to regular underwear and it just felt so freeing, which made me really question what I had gotten into.
stuck wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 11:13 am
Then it is her not wanting me to listen to things critical of Mormonism or Christianity that is a stressor.
This one is tricky - if it's that she doesn't want you listening to podcasts/etc around her, I totally get it. My wife would flip if I was listening to a podcast about mormonism around her, but she is well aware that I listen to them when I'm at work sometimes... I don't tell her what I listened to because hearing about it stresses her out, so we just don't go over what we're listening to.

It's not that I'm lying to her, but that I'm just not going to bring up stuff that I know will cause problems. I don't know if that's a solution for you or not though, but for me that's just how it goes because she doesn't want to hear about it so I was kind of left to figure it all out on my own once I started down the rabbit hole.

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