Holy Fetch! (Update…)

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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Red Ryder
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Holy Fetch! (Update…)

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Jun 09, 2022 11:41 am

Sister Ryder is having a faith crisis.

It’s been a few weeks and a lot has happened. I’m hesitant to type all this out for some reason. It appears she has had many questions for awhile now and found a great podcast with Susan Hinckley and Cynthia ?? Called “At least She Said It”. Susan has such a soothing voice and eloquent way of dissecting many of the common women’s issues with the church such as patriarchy, priesthood, and polygamy.

I recognized something was up when I got home the other night and found her lying in the gutter, strung out on crack cocaine, wearing Victoria secret underwear, with an iced machiattto in hand. She was mumbling something about F the patriarchy! :lol:

Seriously though, we’ve had so many great conversations over the last few weeks. Her mind is opening to see the patterns of patriarchy and misogyny at the organizational level.

I thought I was through the emotional turmoil but I have to admit this is bringing up a lot of emotions as she apologizes for not listening and understanding my point of view all these years. We recognize that we both have contributed to relationship miscommunication but that both of us were taught to disregard doubts and fear eternal damnation for losing faith.

I’m not sure where this will lead. Part of my brain is waiting for the retrench. Part of my brain wants to fast forward her to the end where we forget we were ever Mormons and live happily ever after, and part of my brain is screaming “Damnit! What took you so long??”

So far the best NOM advice to “take things slow” has stayed at the forefront and I’ve been focusing on listening and understanding her thoughts rather than push my angry “hell yeah! Burn it down baby!!!!” voice. That anger just isn’t there for me anymore.

In fact I really feel her emotional pain and am empathetic. Empathy is a strange emotion when you watch your loved ones go through this.

Whoever said”Patience Young Grasshopper!” surely understated what it means to be patient in a mixed faith marriage. I have no agenda in this other than to support and encourage own thinking. There is fear in that too when we’ve watched other couples who go through a faith crisis end up splitting. I’m confident that we’ve survived a long mixed faith period and confident that we can navigate this new phase.

A faith crisis can lead to a colorful world view on a belief spectrum ranging from “the brethren suck” to “it’s all made up and not true!”

Even if she ends up on somewhere in the middle, I’m OK with that. For whatever reason I’m still trying to understand, I’ve never wanted to be the catalyst for someone else’s faith let alone my eternal companions. Belief is a personal sacred thing that everyone has to find their way and journey through.

Stealth, you’ve come back to NOM with a similar situation. Any advice on how to support your spouse as their eyes and mind are opening?
“I switched baristas” —Lady Gaga

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

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jfro18
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by jfro18 » Thu Jun 09, 2022 12:18 pm

Wow... that's quite a turn that I was not expecting to see you post!

I obviously have no advice as my wife has retrenched since I started researching, but as you've already said just be patient, make sure you don't push her anymore than she's willing, and offer to provide her with more resources on church stuff when she's ready for it.

That seems to be the best approach at least from talking to others - letting them know there are a ton of great sources out there but that you won't push them on her until she asks you for them... and then start with gentle stuff and work from there.

Good luck and I hope Mrs. RR is doing OK - as you said it's hard to see others go through it because you remember how much it sucked for us going through it and now you have to relive it with her starting her own journey.

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fetchface
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by fetchface » Thu Jun 09, 2022 12:53 pm

I'm pretty excited for you. Congratulations.

I totally know that feeling of bracing for the possibility of a retrench. In the case of my wife, she had already done a lot of quiet soul searching to herself before she suddenly announced she was done to me. I didn't let myself believe it at first but slowly I came to see that she really was done.

I don't really have any advice for you. I just let my wife know that I had no desire to impress my beliefs on her but that I was there to talk about anything, and then we talked a lot.
Ubi Dubium Ibi Libertas
My blog: http://untanglingmybrain.blogspot.com/

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AllieOop
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by AllieOop » Thu Jun 09, 2022 1:11 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Jun 09, 2022 11:41 am
Sister Ryder is having a faith crisis.

....

I recognized something was up when I got home the other night and found her lying in the gutter, strung out on crack cocaine, wearing Victoria secret underwear, with an iced machiattto in hand. She was mumbling something about F the patriarchy! :lol:
Loved this....LOL! You have such a wonderful sense of humor!! That'll help as you continue to navigate this new part of your journey.

Seriously though, I am thrilled for you. I'm also thrilled for your wife.

My husband and I pretty much navigated out at the same time, but I've had other family members who I've helped as they left (at least I tried to be of help). One thing I've learned is that we never know what is going to trigger someone into waking up to the truth. It's like the timing has to be right and then it has to align with just the right piece of information.....and then a light goes on. But once that happens, there's no turning it back off.

I have told family members that I will never push them or start throwing a ton of confusing information at them, but I will truthfully answer any question they ask. Let your wife take the lead and just be there for her. Keep anger out of it and just continue to love her as you're obviously doing :)
"There came a time when the desire to know the truth about the church became stronger than the desire to know the church was true."

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w2mz
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by w2mz » Thu Jun 09, 2022 6:08 pm

RR,

Wow. Just wow. I’ve been on NoM since ~2008, seen lots of people come and go, even talked with you way back when we we’re doing conference calls (ah the olden days). You were always the one who I looked up to as a hero of sorts. You PIMO, spouse in as in as IN as it gets. (This is and continues to be my situation.)

Reading your post makes me happy for you that you’ve carried on all this time. It’s surreal actually. I can’t even imagine. If I were in your shoes I would like to think I’d just be there for her, not push her, and just be happy. Be her sounding board, let her cry, and help her pick up the pieces of her former Mormon self to create a life together.

Really though, I have no idea as I’ve resounded myself to this life of having a trumpet playing golden elephant between us till death do us part. That or she tosses me out for a Peter Priesthood.

Peace brother. Congrats.
The church has engineered your eternal family into a commodity that can be purchased with an annual fee. The fact that full tithing payment is a requirement for saving ordinances is the biggest red flag imaginable. Hagoth

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wtfluff
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by wtfluff » Thu Jun 09, 2022 9:00 pm

Image

(Seriously Lucky!!!)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

The Beauty of Gray

Wonderment
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by Wonderment » Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:49 pm

That's amazing, RR. Part of what is happening can be attributed to your patience, understanding, and support. Please keep us posted. :) - Wndr.

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Hagoth
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by Hagoth » Sat Jun 11, 2022 6:28 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Jun 09, 2022 11:41 am
I have no agenda in this other than to support and encourage own thinking.
Absolutely. Some people try to manipulate their spouse out of the church in the same way the church would want to manipulate them back in. In my opinion, the journey is more important than the destination. Even if your wife decided to remain active in the church she would never be able to unlearn her new insights. I don't know if my wife will ever be fully out, and to be honest I don't really care that much. I just want her to do her own thinking and to understand that we both have valid reasons for being where we are.
“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."

hmb
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by hmb » Sun Jun 12, 2022 5:39 am

Happy for you and your wife. Even if she keeps a foot in, I feel bad for the conflicting feelings she must be going through. We all know that that's not a fun place to be. I also have a lot of respect for your attitude about letting her work through it and supporting her without pushing. Nothing worse than trying to rush someone, or constantly saying, "Didn't I tell ya?" "I told you so..." I was wondering where her extended family fits in? Are they TBM? If she leaves, will this be another source of trauma? So much tough crap from an organization that boasts free agency and respect.

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by Mormorrisey » Sun Jun 12, 2022 8:52 am

Holy Fetch, indeed!

Wow. After all these years, RR, from what you've posted about Sis. Ryder, this was not someone I would have thought would be candidate for a faith crisis, like, at all. It just goes to show, that it could happen to anyone.

But as per usual, and from all the good advice you've given me over these many years, you are handling this perfectly. With the correct amount of cautious optimism, and a healthy dose of empathy, love and understanding, with no thought of influencing the larger journey with your own perspective. The long game of love wins out, always. Kudos to you, and to Sis. Ryder. What a wonderful story to share with the NOM 1st ward. Thanks for this, I sure needed to hear a story like this this week.

Best of luck moving forward - as you know, faith journeys can be tricky, and at least Sis. Ryder has a wise and patient guide.
"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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Jeffret
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by Jeffret » Sun Jun 12, 2022 4:38 pm

Good luck on this next stage of life and your relationship, whatever it ends up being. Changes can be exciting but they can also be a bit traumatizing. When things are changing you never really know where it's going to go and that uncertainty can be unsettling. Hopefully it all works out for the better for you. Not that everything is really perfect, but things can definitely get better.

My wife's transition out of the Church was much faster than mine, but much longer in coming. I started out as the most devout and fervent of us. Maybe that's why my transition out was more drawn out. Basically, I lost my faith in 1992, though I still wanted to believe for some years after. I did tons of study during the following years. I was basically a NOM years before LDSman coined and started marketing the term. Finally in 2005, I had enough and just couldn't take attending any further. My wife continued attending with the kids until the following year when she abruptly had her faith transition and stopped. Her final issues were basically about the patriarchy and authoritarianism. I continued participating in NOM for years afterwards (including occasionally these days). She posted a few times on NOM and then moved on much more quickly than I.

The big thing that helped us get to that point was many long hours of discussion, where each of us respected the other and sought to share our feelings and understandings. Since we both transitioned out one of the nicest things (besides not having to attend / deal with the Church), has been that we're on the same page, roughly, about our discussions and criticisms of the Church. We no longer have to tiptoe about them. We still have interactions and frustrations with the Church, mostly involving interactions with extended family, but now we can share and whine about them together.

I have no words of wisdom to offer, other than the ones that have been standard around her for so long. Patience. Improve communication. Work on strengthening relationships. Accept that you cannot change another person. Basically, keep doing the same things and try to improve them.

I had figured on never resigning from the Church, and making them kick me out if they cared. It was my wife, though, we ultimately decided she needed to resign and I followed along with. It was the better approach.

You never know where it will go or what she will end up. That can be kind of scary. My observation is that (in very general trends), men tend to be more concerned with historicity and the "Truth" of the Church. Women tend to be more impacted by the patriarchy and a fuller acceptance of just what their place has always been in the Church. Neither is more important or significant -- it's just about different people's experiences and approaches.

Best wishes as you navigate this stage.
Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Jun 09, 2022 11:41 am
Part of my brain wants to fast forward her to the end where we forget we were ever Mormons and live happily ever after
I don't think this ever really happens, at least not for people who took it as seriously and were so embedded as my wife and I. We certainly don't forget we were ever Mormons. Sometimes we still have to process some of our experience. My brother's Mormon and later temple wedding provided for episodes of that last year. Some of the remedy was sitting around afterwards sharing a glass of wine. (Often it's sharing one single glass, as we are all very light drinkers.) And it's been over 16 years since we last participated in anything Mormon. We pretty much haven't been back in any form since then but still support faithful extended family.
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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MoPag
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by MoPag » Sun Jun 12, 2022 11:46 pm

Yay for Red and Sis Ryder!!!
It's a good podcast too.
I invite all to partake:
https://atlastshesaidit.org/
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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Not Buying It
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by Not Buying It » Mon Jun 13, 2022 5:23 am

I am glad to hear she may be coming around, and I hope things continue to move in that direction. Something similar happened with my wife about a year ago, I didn't think she was ever going to come around, then a Youtuber she watches did a takedown of the Church and destroyed her shelf. Gotta admit, mixed in with the joy was a lot of annoyance that I'd been trying to tell her that stuff for years and she listened to some stranger on Youtube? But I got over it.

What I found worked really well at the time is I didn't bring anything up with her. I let her ask questions, I let her go at her own pace, I let her control how her transition went. The temptation was to flood her with as much information as I could, but I just backed off and played it cool, and was just there for her when she needed to talk or had questions. That seemed to do the trick.

I know a lot of you are still dealing with mixed faith marriages, and I am sorry for that. I'm certainly not trying to rub it in any of your faces, and I don't want to give any of you false hope. I was lucky, I didn't think it would ever happen in a million years, but I know for some of you your significant others will probably never come around. I just lucked out after years of getting nowhere. But luck was all it was.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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stealthbishop
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Jun 13, 2022 6:47 am

It is an absolutely surreal experience to witness a faith crisis with your spouse after you have already gone through one yourself and you are not expecting them to have one. I think it will be more and more common maybe over time. Who knows. But this is big news for you.

As far as advice, I think you do your best to come across as supportive of course. You do not want to push them in a certain direction. Their journey will be different than yours although there can be overlap. Just let her know you are there for her and want to support her in whatever is best for her. Let her know you are her partner and you want to help her as best you can and you want to understand. Lots of active listening. Lots of letting her know that this marriage is important to you and reassurance that she is safe with you.

It's great that she is apologizing to you for her past ignorance. That's an indicator that she has empathy for you and she is taking ownership of what she brought to the table out of orthodox ignorance. Let her know that you appreciate that and that it means a lot to you.

Let her know that your relationship is growing stronger through this.

Recognize that this journey will probably have twists and turns. Everyone is different but if she is like my wife then she will have urges to retrench or go "backwards". Don't get freaked out by that. Keep giving her signals that it's okay and you are there for her regardless. Unconditional love and acceptance and signals of safety and reassurance.

Keep us updated RR!! That's a big development.
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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Linked
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by Linked » Mon Jun 13, 2022 2:16 pm

What?!?!

Congrats RR and Sis. RR!

It sounds like you are there for her and not pushing her, she is lucky to have you as she goes through this.

You probably know this already, but I thought it was helpful. I was talking with my therapist about empathy recently and he mentioned that with empathy and affirming someone's emotions it is important to reflect back what they say, both the message and the tone. Some people tend to under do the emotion and others over do it, both of which aren't as validating. Also, don't minimize their pain, but also don't say it is worse than they are feeling or try to psychoanalyze if that's not where they are.
"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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annotatedbom
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by annotatedbom » Mon Jun 13, 2022 3:08 pm

RR,

I'm so glad you can be there to support your wife through this. Sounds like her family of origin is all Mormon, and I suspect she was raised in the Church. If my understanding of her background is at all accurate, I would think the turmoil and anguish from your wife's faith transition must be really rough.

I think other NOM ward members are better qualified to give you advice, and the advice they gave seems wise. We're especially blessed that our bishop (the stealthy one) chimed in :) It seems like a lot of that advice applies whether a spouse remains believing and/or supportive of the Church or not, so thanks to all who shared,

A-BoM

stuck
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by stuck » Tue Jun 14, 2022 2:11 pm

Wow RR, that's wonderful right?! We all hope that our tbm spouses will finally agree that the church is not what it claims to be. But I remember a post a couple years back about whether we would like it if our spouses had faith transitions/crises or not and some were a bit reluctant. But it is wonderful that she is coming around to thinking more like you are towards the church right?! Now maybe you and she won't have to worry about wearing garments anymore :lol: Congrats and best wishes for the future!

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stealthbishop
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:44 am

Also, my wife needed medication and therapy. Her faith crisis triggered significant mental health challenges as it does for many people including me 12 years ago. Let your wife know that you support her mental health in this journey and it is okay to get help if she needs it. My wife is doing so much better now. She struggles but not to the same degree at all.
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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AllieOop
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by AllieOop » Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:21 am

stealthbishop wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:44 am
Also, my wife needed medication and therapy. Her faith crisis triggered significant mental health challenges as it does for many people including me 12 years ago. Let your wife know that you support her mental health in this journey and it is okay to get help if she needs it. My wife is doing so much better now. She struggles but not to the same degree at all.
Stealth, this is such an important post. We have been programmed in the church to be ashamed or embarrassed if we go into therapy or ask for help from a mental health professional. We're supposed to go to the Bishop or Stake President for council, ask for priesthood blessings, fast more....pray more....read our scriptures more....attend the temple more....on and on, like we're not worthy or it's our fault that we are in pain and struggling.

The truth is, there is absolutely NO shame in reaching out for help. It takes courage to do that.
"There came a time when the desire to know the truth about the church became stronger than the desire to know the church was true."

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Red Ryder
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Re: Holy Fetch!

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Jun 15, 2022 8:13 am

Thanks everyone for the love and well wishes! This NOM ward is amazing. Excellent advice to take it slow and get help as needed.
Jeffret wrote:
Sun Jun 12, 2022 4:38 pm
Good luck on this next stage of life and your relationship, whatever it ends up being. Changes can be exciting but they can also be a bit traumatizing. When things are changing you never really know where it's going to go and that uncertainty can be unsettling. Hopefully it all works out for the better for you. Not that everything is really perfect, but things can definitely get better.
Thanks Jeffret! I’ll be honest and admit the uncertainty does feel a bit unsettling here because in many LDS marriages the church has always been the anchor. Pull up the anchor and suddenly we both have to start doing the work to keep the marriage alive and healthy. I’ve seen too many couples go through divorce during or after a faith crisis. I think that’s what’s unsettling for me at the moment. Although I don’t feel like that’s going to happen, it’s just unsettling based on the uncertainty of where this goes.
MoPag wrote:
Sun Jun 12, 2022 11:46 pm
Yay for Red and Sis Ryder!!!
It's a good podcast too.
I invite all to partake:
https://atlastshesaidit.org/
Thanks MoPag for the link.

If anyone is interested, the episode that really resonated with her was Episode 005: Men Don’t Have a Giant Church Bag.

It sort of woke her up to the inequality in the church.

Then these episodes really got her thinking about the paradox of our own beliefs.

Episode 016: We Don’t Believe Our Own Stuff — Grace Edition

Episode 020: We Don’t Believe Our Own Stuff — Agency Edition

Episode 022: Bonus—Dancing With the Patriarchy

She’s sort of hooked now and has listened to nearly all 93 episodes. She’s commented a few times that she can’t unsee the problems women face in the church. Just yesterday she listened to an episode about the temple and garments and made the connection that the recommend interview process was flawed having to report to two different men how she wore her underwear.

I’ve now listened to the last 20 episodes with her. Susan Hinckley has a soothing voice and is able to articulate the problems very eloquently without anger.

I highly recommend starting at the beginning and listen to all of them.
“I switched baristas” —Lady Gaga

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

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