do I want to catch the monkey?

Discussions about negotiating relationships between faithful LDS believers and the apostates who love them. This applies in particular to mixed-faith marriages, but relations with children, parents, siblings, friends, and ward members is very welcome.
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redjay
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do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by redjay » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:14 am

Slowly, slowly catchy monkey...

Slowly I can see my spouse become less of a believer.

If I was manipulative I think I could bring her shelf crashing down.

But I'm not sure I want that to happen, or to be the one pulling it down.

She is of her own accord having a FC, not because she has read anti stuff - though she has read CES letter to see why our eldest stopped going to church. But she managed to compartmentalise.

It's been more of a belief in a just god type thing, e.g. why are only 0.0002% (numbers pulled out my ass) of the world mormons if God wants everyone to have the gospel and it's the only real way to be happy.

I will occasionally pass comment on some things, e.g. she was talking about JS and the three kingdoms, to which I said yeah, he just got that from Emmanuel Swedenborg - to which she said "you're kidding me?" I said no, and changed the situation.

But back to my main point, I'm not sure I want her to not be Mormon. Will she be any happier? Also selfishly, if I drop out (I still attend) parents will be disappointed/hurt. If we both drop out I think they will be devastated, so I don;t know if I selfishly want her to stick around, so the damage is not so great.


Also with both of us out, it would seem so final.

So I'm not sure if I want to 'catch the monkey'

Anyone else got mixed feelings about spouses' FC?


RJ
At the halfway home. I'm a full-grown man. But I'm not afraid to cry.

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:54 am

There is something to be said for not wanting it to be thought of as being your fault she stops believing. I would love it more if my influence had nothing to do with another's departure, but that the reason someone leaves is based purely on the validity of the evidence studied in their own personal vacuum. The reason being it provides validation that we're not just satan's puppet doing his bidding.

Unfortunately this isn't the way these FC work. Personal interaction and environmental influence will always be a factor.

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BriansThoughtMirror
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by BriansThoughtMirror » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:47 pm

redjay wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:14 am
Anyone else got mixed feelings about spouses' FC?
Heck yes. At first, I wanted so bad to convince her... But, I don't know that she would be happier. I'm not sure I'm happier. I've traded some miseries for others, though some have evaporated. It would definitely reduce some conflicts, but I still don't have any desire to put her through all of that. She's an intelligent, reasonable human being. She has every right to come to her own conclusions. I don't want to manipulate her, just like I wouldn't want to be manipulated. I also want her to feel fully accepted, just like I'd want to be. At the same time, it's really hard to hold back and put a check on my own biases and motivations, especially when I feel hurt. It's really hard to strike a balance between being respectful, and being open. I think we've been doing better, but sometimes I still fear I'm headed for self destruction over all of it. I also REALLY want my son to not be mixed up in all of it... But I have to trust that as long as he sees multiple perspectives, and has the chance to think for himself without fear of rejection, he'll be OK, regardless of what he ends up believing. Very mixed feelings, indeed.
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alas
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by alas » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:11 pm

My DH knows enough of the bad history to create a FC if he really thinks things through. But I really think church is good for him. I think in general it is good for most men, so it is my grand daughters I would most like to get out of the church.

So, no, I don't want him to have a FC or stop believing. He feels better about himself and the world inside of the Mormon world view. He also is a very people oriented person and needs the social structure provided by church. This was really brought home to me when we moved out of our ward of 25 years to a very small town that is more tourists than residents. It is impossible to get to know ward members because of sacrament attendance of around 1,000. You can't tell who is visiting tourists and who is part of the ward. We are snowbirds and the whole 7 months we were there as residents and ward members, we got no contact in the form of callings, home or visiting teachers, nothing. Granted they have lots of snowbirds, but they could make them home teachers to each other, or give them callings to help cope with the tourist overload. Now we are down at our winter residence and DH is having a hard time with not being part of our permanent ward. So, he needs the social structure and is suffering its absence.

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Dravin
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by Dravin » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:45 pm

alas wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:11 pm
I think in general it is good for most men, so it is my grand daughters I would most like to get out of the church.
Thing is that the men internalize the messages you so want to get your granddaughters away from. They don't take to them so keenly since they aren't necessarily the primary target but they still get them and while they may be less critically damaging they still aren't good.
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

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MerrieMiss
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by MerrieMiss » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:02 pm

I've been having these same thoughts recently. And oddly enough, all of the things discussed on the DAMU that our TBM spouses are scared of, I find myself apprehensive of how much my husband would change. Would he regret our marriage? Would he regret our kids? Resent us? And let's face it, some people do go crazy with new found freedom - would he? The answer to all of these is that I highly doubt it, but I wonder.

I don't want to see him in pain. And a faith transition is painful. It's selfish, but there it is.
The true opposite of order is not disorder but freedom. Most profoundly, the true opposite of control is not chaos but self-control. -Jay Griffiths

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redjay
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by redjay » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:45 am

"glad" to see Im not alone. More of a lurker here, but it's good to be able to post and get a sense check every now and again. Thanks all
At the halfway home. I'm a full-grown man. But I'm not afraid to cry.

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RubinHighlander
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by RubinHighlander » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:38 am

I tried not to, but ultimately I took the blame and ultimately she is grateful for the exit. There were ugly times but love can conquer all if it goes deep enough. She knew I was sincere and really hurting inside from the cogdis, which started her down her own FC. Unfortunately for some marriages, there's already a foundation of other issues and mistrust and one spouse having an FC only exacerbates those other issues. This can actually further entrench the TBM spouse deeper into denial and filtering of facts, like the wind vs the sun in the contest to get the man to take off his coat.

So I guess my advice is to try and build up the relationship of love and trust before sharing too much detail on the issues that caused your FC. Be sincere in expressing your pain and cogdis over your own FC and avoid direct negative attacks on the church. I think that finding and focusing on mutual shelf items can help, like that protect the LDS children petition could be a good one that both agree on. Then later there may be opportunities to share more.

Bottom line is that if you think she's starting her own FC, let her blame you if you have some degree of confidence it will ultimately lead to her reaching escape velocity and you will still be together, if that is what you want.
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Linked
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by Linked » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:14 pm

I want my wife to have a FC but I don't want to cause it. I also don't think I could push her into a FC, I think anything I tried would backfire at this point. The reasons I want her to have a FC are various.

- I want her to be free from the parts of the church that are not true
- It would make my transition easier to not be continually pulled back into church stuff
- It would give us more in common to build our relationship on
- It would take out a wedge that currently separates us
- So our kids aren't raised mormon
- So we can discuss what WE want for our kids, not what I want and what the church wants

Maybe we could do some of this without her having a FC.

She finds a sense of identity and purpose in her understanding of the church and in the day to day requirements. I think it would be hard for her to lose that. I would love to have her join me though. Us against the world.
"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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moksha
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by moksha » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:34 pm

If you catch that mischievous monkey, give it a slap. ;)
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Enoch Witty
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by Enoch Witty » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:36 am

Dude, I don't even know how you could ask this question. I would give anything for my wife to take an honestly critical review of her beliefs and do the obvious thing from there. I guess being "the one to cause it" is more of a question worth asking, but I don't really think it's a thing. If you try to change someone's beliefs who aren't receptive to it, you're only going to cause them to retrench. If you say the thing that opens your wife's eyes, her eyes were ready to be opened. That's my thought on it, anyway.

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redjay
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by redjay » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:27 pm

moksha wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:34 pm
If you catch that mischievous monkey, give it a slap. ;)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-40801937

I served part of my mission in that area: tough going, a natural suspicion of outsiders...
At the halfway home. I'm a full-grown man. But I'm not afraid to cry.

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redjay
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by redjay » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:32 pm

Enoch Witty wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:36 am
Dude, I don't even know how you could ask this question. I would give anything for my wife to take an honestly critical review of her beliefs and do the obvious thing from there. I guess being "the one to cause it" is more of a question worth asking, but I don't really think it's a thing. If you try to change someone's beliefs who aren't receptive to it, you're only going to cause them to retrench. If you say the thing that opens your wife's eyes, her eyes were ready to be opened. That's my thought on it, anyway.
I count myself as fortunate to have someone who can be accepting and open-minded. But this has been a journey of a thousand steps, and there have been tears along the way DW and myself. I feel as though we are over the hill but there's still more distance to go.
At the halfway home. I'm a full-grown man. But I'm not afraid to cry.

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LostGirl
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by LostGirl » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:33 pm

Wow, I had not read this post before I added mine in a similar vein under support. Merriemiss pointed me over here.
I'm not sure I want her to not be Mormon. Will she be any happier? Also selfishly, if I drop out (I still attend) parents will be disappointed/hurt. If we both drop out I think they will be devastated, so I don;t know if I selfishly want her to stick around, so the damage is not so great.
I think you have been able to articulate the problem very well. It is easy to see the damage that will be caused to others. It makes me angry sometimes to have been put in an impossible situation where no matter what I do someone will get hurt.

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Ghost
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by Ghost » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:12 pm

I've had similar thoughts for sure. For years, I kept most of my concerns to myself, not wanting to pressure my wife in any way toward a crisis of faith. The things I did mention in a roundabout way were simply in the interest of sharing my thoughts so not to shut myself off completely, and I guess to pave the way for if and when I might eventually start scaling back my adherence.

I can't say that I had nothing to do with her eventual faith transition, but it was quick when it happened and it made me nervous. Things worked out for us, though. At this point, she would rather I not spend any time on things related to religion. But I am still taking things slowly and deciding for sure where I want to end up. (Yes, I realize this is the polar opposite of the attitude of most members of this forum nowadays.)

While I have several reasons that I maintain my activity, one of them is simple pragmatism in regards to other relationships. I don't want to let everyone down or be the one to set others on a path that might not end well for them. And while I sometimes imagine what it might be like to discover that a family member or good friend is experiencing a faith transition, I'm not sure how helpful I would really be. I'm still trying to figure out what comes next after questioning everything.

Thoughtful
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by Thoughtful » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:15 pm

There's a loss of intimacy when you no longer believe the same things. I desperately want to catch the monkey, but, I just can't take these conversations to spouseman anymore because they are too frustrating for us both. I think suffering in silence is better than ruining a worldview. But I do not know where that leaves our marriage. I don't know that I can keep my mouth shut. I'm very invested in my children seeing reality, and recovering from Mormonism before it absorbs their lives.

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redjay
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by redjay » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:48 am

what a head spin. I acknowledge there is dialogue, acceptance and love. But this week I've had "what if you leave me?" "feels like a slow severing". Where's the emoji for deflated?
At the halfway home. I'm a full-grown man. But I'm not afraid to cry.

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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by Thoughtful » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:25 am

redjay wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:48 am
what a head spin. I acknowledge there is dialogue, acceptance and love. But this week I've had "what if you leave me?" "feels like a slow severing". Where's the emoji for deflated?

Solidarity.

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redjay
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by redjay » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:00 pm

How to say this? Bearing in mind that this post refers to the original post in this thread and another post on another part of the board.

I asked yesterday on another thread for incontestable evidence. But other than casual conversation or conforming the wackiness of the COJCOLDS the evidence isn't required.

Just over a year after I posted the original post on this thread, my wife sent me a text today saying my wife had had a coffee at work. She may try a gin tomorrow at home. Her garments came off last week.

Seems we two monkeys have jumped off the boat of stale crackers and are swimming together towards the shore.

I am not overjoyed. But I am pleased. In many respects nothing has changed. We have continued to love and support each other over the last few years, and we will do the same going forward.

On the bright side we will be able to share an adult beverage, and watch shows like Westworld together. Also we will be freed from the quest for perfection.

But we still attend for the sake of an active teenager who has friends at church. So we will not get every Sunday off. Also we will have the exact same problems as before, jobs that can be stressful, teenagers, ageing parents, etc. We will also naturally find ourselves somewhat removed/more on the periphery of our LDS social circle. But we do live far outside the moridor and lots of our friends have already left (particularly mine). So mostly life will go on in the same way.

I'm not sure that this is a cause for celebration. I do not feel like I have won in the sense that it has been a competition between my wife's faith and my resolve, or even I have rescued her from the church's grasp. I just feel we have both reached a new phase in our lives, me first, then Mrs RJ.

I do not want to gloat or seem glib when many people on this board struggle in mixed faith relationships to the point of the relationships being broken. It is all very strange.


My approach has been never to push or direct - my wife is an avid podcast listener, yet at no point have I suggested: mormon stories, mormon discussion etc. The church has released it's essays, which she found wholly unsatisfactory, and I have on occasion dropped the smallest tidbits into conversation, e.g. modest stipends: but even those small bits of information might have been as little as a few times a year. When she has referenced looking at the CES letter I didn't make a big deal of it with lots of follow up questions, I have asked one or two and then backed off.

I think our joint NOM'ness came down to:

1) Living outside of the moridor (so not so much social exclusion by walking away, we also see every day that non-mormons are just as decent and blessed as mormons)
2) We're both professionals with a few advanced degrees between us (we hit the demographic John Dehlin's research pointed out was leaving the church, and I guess we can think somewhat critically)
3) The internet, Bushman and the proliferation of information that is available
4) Lots of love understanding and patience
5) A few of our kids who left before us (also that happy successful active picture-perfect family that we thought was going to happen, as per patriarchal blessings, never properly transpired. Instead we ended up with kids who had depression - some of it probably due to the pressure of being in fundamentalist religion).

Anyway this is just my observation. As we all know there is no one size fits all recipe for people navigating their way out. Anyway I am a NOM lurker and I thought you'd like to hear of my experience.

RJ
At the halfway home. I'm a full-grown man. But I'm not afraid to cry.

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Red Ryder
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Re: do I want to catch the monkey?

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:56 pm

“redjay” wrote:Her garments came off last week.
Praise Be!

Sounds like you two have a lot of life ahead of you!

May you build new friendships, find new adventures, and explore new positions (in life perverts)!
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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