How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

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.
stuck
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How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by stuck » Fri Aug 04, 2023 8:38 am

So wife and I had a conversation this morning about the church. She found out I was still drinking coffee and that I had lied to one of my sons about it. She just had a friend leave the church and she has others that she knows in her family who've left the church and feels like that a lot of them end up losing their families etc and become worse off.

I told her that I believe that people can still be good and moral when they leave. She has others who have kept their families together but aren't "perfect". She is a perfectionist and has probably gotten that from the church.

I believe that people can remain good and keep their families intact but there probably is a shift in morality. Like drinking coffee or drinking alcohol reponsibly and being less strict about movie ratings.

Do you guys have any examples of families who've remained intact and led great lives after the church?

Mayan_Elephant
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by Mayan_Elephant » Fri Aug 04, 2023 8:56 am

stuck wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 8:38 am
Do you guys have any examples of families who've remained intact and led great lives after the church?
Yes. Many.

Though, greatness is subjective and the dual axes matrix of stayed/left and intact/expired has greatness in every quadrant.

I will say this, coffee is awesome but it damn sure ain't worth the predictable outcome of lies and conflict. If you want to bring a conflict to the fore, do it deliberately and kindly. Bring it with self-care, empathy and awareness. Don't hinge a conflict on a damn beverage that doesn't stay hot.
“Not ripe in spring, no standing by summer, Laches by fall, and moot by winter.”

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wtfluff
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by wtfluff » Fri Aug 04, 2023 10:20 am

stuck wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 8:38 am
...
but there probably is a shift in morality. Like drinking coffee or drinking alcohol reponsibly and being less strict about movie ratings.
...
There is absolutely nothing "immoral" about the things mentioned in the above sentence/quote.


Maybe you should do some simple math with your spouse:
  • According to LD$-Inc.'s last claim at the end of 2022, they have a little over 17,000,000 members.
  • According to worldometer there are over 8,000,000,000 humans on the planet.
  • 17,000,000 / 8,000,000,000 = 0.002125
  • 0.002125 X 100 = 0.2126
Members of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" make up 0.2126% of the human population.

How can anyone think that only 0.2126% of the human population are "good people"?


(We won't mention the fact that the majority of the Members of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" aren't "active" and don't even consider themselves adherents to the religion.)



(Yes I know that logic (or simple math) won't work when talking to a believer, but I can't help myself: It's literally insane to think that you can't be a good human if you are not MORmON.)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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stuck
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by stuck » Fri Aug 04, 2023 11:32 am

Mayan_Elephant wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 8:56 am
stuck wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 8:38 am
Do you guys have any examples of families who've remained intact and led great lives after the church?
Yes. Many.

Though, greatness is subjective and the dual axes matrix of stayed/left and intact/expired has greatness in every quadrant.

I will say this, coffee is awesome but it damn sure ain't worth the predictable outcome of lies and conflict. If you want to bring a conflict to the fore, do it deliberately and kindly. Bring it with self-care, empathy and awareness. Don't hinge a conflict on a damn beverage that doesn't stay hot.
That's good advice. The problem too is that I've told her that I don't plan on baptizing my son. But she's like why don't you try to believe, because she thinks it will "crush" my son if I don't.

stuck
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by stuck » Fri Aug 04, 2023 11:35 am

wtfluff wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 10:20 am
stuck wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 8:38 am
...
but there probably is a shift in morality. Like drinking coffee or drinking alcohol reponsibly and being less strict about movie ratings.
...
There is absolutely nothing "immoral" about the things mentioned in the above sentence/quote.


(Yes I know that logic (or simple math) won't work when talking to a believer, but I can't help myself: It's literally insane to think that you can't be a good human if you are not MORmON.)
Those are good points. I agree on the coffee drinking and so forth, but she may perceive it as lowering moral standards? I am still uncomfortable with the idea of "open marriages" but perhaps for some it is ok if it is consensual?

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wtfluff
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by wtfluff » Fri Aug 04, 2023 2:15 pm

stuck wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 11:35 am
wtfluff wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 10:20 am
stuck wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 8:38 am
...
but there probably is a shift in morality. Like drinking coffee or drinking alcohol reponsibly and being less strict about movie ratings.
...
There is absolutely nothing "immoral" about the things mentioned in the above sentence/quote.


(Yes I know that logic (or simple math) won't work when talking to a believer, but I can't help myself: It's literally insane to think that you can't be a good human if you are not MORmON.)
Those are good points. I agree on the coffee drinking and so forth, but she may perceive it as lowering moral standards? I am still uncomfortable with the idea of "open marriages" but perhaps for some it is ok if it is consensual?
Are you saying that coffee, alcohol in moderation and "bad" movies lead open marriages? I'm not sure I follow...

Or are we just wallowing in a slippery slope fallacy?
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

IDKSAF -RubinHighlander

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stuck
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by stuck » Fri Aug 04, 2023 4:21 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 2:15 pm
stuck wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 11:35 am
wtfluff wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 10:20 am


Are you saying that coffee, alcohol in moderation and "bad" movies lead open marriages? I'm not sure I follow...

Or are we just wallowing in a slippery slope fallacy?
Sorry, I guess I'm saying that it seems that once someone loses their religion that there is a shift as to what is right or wrong for that person. For myself like you I think coffee is ok and alcohol if used wisely and in moderation and I am less strict in movie ratings now as well. However right now I'm not comfortable with the idea of open marriages like some exmos are. So maybe it's a process, but I do value my marriage and know that the idea of having an open marriage would not be good for it and may never be especially if my wife stays in the church and I'm ok with the idea of always having a traditional marriage.

Mayan_Elephant
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by Mayan_Elephant » Fri Aug 04, 2023 5:19 pm

stuck wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 11:32 am
Mayan_Elephant wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 8:56 am
stuck wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 8:38 am
Do you guys have any examples of families who've remained intact and led great lives after the church?
Yes. Many.

Though, greatness is subjective and the dual axes matrix of stayed/left and intact/expired has greatness in every quadrant.

I will say this, coffee is awesome but it damn sure ain't worth the predictable outcome of lies and conflict. If you want to bring a conflict to the fore, do it deliberately and kindly. Bring it with self-care, empathy and awareness. Don't hinge a conflict on a damn beverage that doesn't stay hot.
That's good advice. The problem too is that I've told her that I don't plan on baptizing my son. But she's like why don't you try to believe, because she thinks it will "crush" my son if I don't.
And therein lies the crux of this NOM dilemma. If faking it to making it works, no harm done. If faking it to making it sucks the life out of you there is harm.
“Not ripe in spring, no standing by summer, Laches by fall, and moot by winter.”

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Hagoth
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by Hagoth » Fri Aug 04, 2023 5:31 pm

stuck wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 8:38 am
I told her that I believe that people can still be good and moral when they leave. She has others who have kept their families together but aren't "perfect". She is a perfectionist and has probably gotten that from the church.
Hopefully, she has noticed that those people at church don't really have perfect families, they just go to great lengths to make the other people at church believe that. And they do it by stubbornly in-group messaging about stupid, unimportant things, like beverages.

I'm so sorry the church rewards its most faithful followers with a worldview that is so emotionally stunted and culturally immature that they can't even see the good in people who are not exactly like them. I mean, to think people are evil because of such unimportant stuff as as drinking freakin' coffee or having an extra piercing, or whatever. Mormons hang their sense of morality on such trivial and insignificant things. It could just as easily be people who eat marshmallows and wear arguile socks, if that's what rubbed the High Sheriffs the wrong way.

I mean, really. Mormons can't tolerate a sinner who drinks a cup of tea, regardless of any amount of good he does, but they don't bat an eye when their own leaders get caught committing large scale SEC and IRS fraud. Their concept of morality has been completely turned upside down.

Sorry, Stuck, I'm not attacking your wife, I'm just venting my impatience for the whole ridiculous system. I wish there was a way to get people to take a 1-year vacation from the church and spend all of their time making friends with, ugh, gentiles.
“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."

Mayan_Elephant
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by Mayan_Elephant » Fri Aug 04, 2023 8:36 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 5:31 pm
Sorry, Stuck, I'm not attacking your wife, I'm just venting my impatience for the whole ridiculous system. I wish there was a way to get people to take a 1-year vacation from the church and spend all of their time making friends with, ugh, gentiles.
Wendy Mogel says that every child deserves a bad fourth-grade teacher and a slutty teenage friend. Her point is that we are all imperfect and we should learn to cope with the imperfections in life. I think you would like Dr. Mogel.
“Not ripe in spring, no standing by summer, Laches by fall, and moot by winter.”

Cnsl1
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by Cnsl1 » Fri Aug 04, 2023 11:38 pm

I totally understand the wife's concern.

In the Mormon world view, leaving the church equates to losing the spirit and being unprotected from the machinations of the adversary.

From this perspective, people can be good before they have the gospel, but not completely happy. Once they have it then leave it, they are on that slippery slope that might begin with coffee and end with snorting coke off a naked hooker in Vegas. It's just a matter of time, unless there is lots of fasting and prayers.

Sheltered Mormons have a really narrow understanding of the world. They try to be in the world but not of the world, and I think they often pull it off. Mormons who live amongst groups of Mormons often don't have the examples of really great, happy families who aren't Mormon. They don't see them. They don't look for them. They don't challenge their own world view. Why would they? They have the truth and they are so happy.

It's very scary for TBMs when family members leave the church.

When people leave, it naturally opens up other behavioral options they may have not previously considered. Most people, anyway. Very very few leave so they can participate in the other behavioral options without being encumbered with guilt or whatever, but the vast majority who leave do so through great consternation and emotional pain. It's like they don't really want to leave but they just can't stay. They no longer believe because the evidence is overwhelming.

So, many of these leavers then start to examine other evidence. What's the deal with coffee? Is this green tea stuff actually GOOD for you? Is it ok to wear this dress that shows my shoulders? Other behavioral options open. Speaking of open, what about marriage? How would that work? How would we navigate that. Some try, most don't. It's not an issue of good or bad, it's people who have unshackled themselves from a very high demand religion exploring life. Discovering this world they've been living in all along.

With the newfound behaviors come consequences, like with anything else. Drink too much and oh shit that wasn't fun. Maybe being naked around too many people is too anxiety provoking. Do we have to worry about STDs now? But sometimes the consequences are awesome. Maybe sex with a tiny bit of THC is phenomenal. We're not dressed in layers in the summer. Life is even better and we're much happier than before.

What if we'd stayed? What would the consequences be? Can people who stay in the church really be good people? Can they really be happy?

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Angel
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by Angel » Sun Aug 06, 2023 8:20 am

wtfluff wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 10:20 am

Members of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" make up 0.2126% of the human population.

How can anyone think that only 0.2126% of the human population are "good people"?

So true wtfluff. Most charity is done through organizations such as Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, Habitat for Humanity, Rotary International, The Salvation Army, Oxfam, AmeriCares - sooo many amazing ppl out there. When bashing starts, change the subject to inspiring stories of groups and individual people who are making a real difference in the world.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Emower
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by Emower » Sun Aug 06, 2023 9:00 am

I know of many good people, including me. If you want to show your wife that there are good people who have left the church, show her yourself. That's the most important person that she and your children will see every day. Don't lie about stuff. If you are embarrassed about drinking coffee, hold off until you are ready to do it without embarrassment. If open marriages make you uncomfortable, let her know that that is not an option for you and don't go swinging.

Hagoth's point about Mormon morality is spot on in that it is so upside down in many many people's eyes. The best way to combat that is by just being the best husband and father you can be while living your authentic self.

stuck
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by stuck » Mon Aug 07, 2023 12:32 pm

Thanks everyone for the great responses! Being in a mixed faith marriage for me is like "Marriage on a tightrope". I should probably listen to that podcast more. Anyway, it can be very stressful and frustrating sometimes. Yes I should re-assure her that I am not going to drink alcohol (she is concerned about that--I wouldn't mind trying it though) and that I'm going to remain faithful to her. I suppose I could see what it would take to baptize my kids. I just feel like I would be less authentic if I did so and sort of going against my conscience right? But if it would bring more family peace I could try. I would just have to keep in mind that I am doing it not for the church but for Jesus as he was loving and kind to everyone except the pharisees. And belief in Jesus to me is probably limited to that as I don't really believe he was our savior etc. And for this reason, my bishop may prohibit me from doing it. If that's the case then my wife will have to be fine with it and we will have to make explanations to my boys and family. But this to me seems like the most honest and authentic approach for me to take. It is still a year out, but it is a concern for both me and my wife.

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RubinHighlander
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Aug 08, 2023 7:36 am

My family is an example of one that escaped to better lives and relationships, which can be a big challenge here behind the zion curtain. In a nutshell:
- 1st marriage with 3 kids, spouse that was a cheater and left the church, convinced my kids to leave over time. This made me double down in the church, primarily to fight against my X and hold some moral high ground.
- several years into the 2nd marriage with DWs 3 kids, still running strong in the church, but then my shelf broke
- I broke the news to dw, played it down best I could with "I'm struggling with some of the dogma" was a big shocker to her and it hurt; my method was to double down on love and good husband behavior, very supportive, did not throw any dogma in her face.
- Started getting dw and the kids out into nature more, trying to use some weekends to steal them away from church for more fulfilling activities
- About a year later dw and her kids found their own way out, happy wife happy life!

Since all of our immediate family got out of the church, our relationships have improved 10 fold, feels genuine now and natural, much more enjoyable. The church's blanket of BS had clouded our lives and relationships, especially between me and the kids and I see now how bad it was at times.

So we still have extended family and friends scrubbing toilets for the billion dollar boys club, but more are finding their way out all the time and we are here to support them when their shelf breaks. After several years out now, we are still in our same neighborhood, still have interactions with many TBM friends. My hope is that when they see us they might judge, like when I'm out mowing the lawn on a Sunday, or loading up my skis on the car as they drive off to an early meeting. I hope after they judge they also feel a but of condescenvy. I know I did, seeing some of my neighbors enjoying their sundays instead of slogging off to lds corp.

I also think some TBM friends actually seem to prefer our company over their church friends, because it's genuine and gives them a break from that BS world, which was exhausting to live. I had one TBM friend ask me some questions about medical cannabis, as she was looking for alternatives for some conditions she had.

In summary, my method was to live my life with no more devils or angels, but also more effort on good spouse and dad behavior. Try to be genuine but also increase the love and activities that provide for the non-lds spiritual growth; I find nature is one of the best tools for that. Try to avoid activities and behavior that puts you in their "See what happens when you leave the good ship zion!" poster. Try not to be a poster child for the lds corporate marketing machine.
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Linked
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by Linked » Mon Aug 14, 2023 2:13 pm

I baptized my son last year in similar circumstances. We let him pick who confirmed him and he chose his RM cousin. The bishop didn't ask me anything. The requirements to perform a baptism are quite low. The confirmation requires an active temple recommend I believe. I wanted to baptize him because in spite of my unbelief in the mormon church, I am still his father and one of his spiritual leaders.

You've mentioned morality shifting, and it should when your foundational beliefs shift. But ideally you will be getting more moral, or at least you will be more authentically moral. Morality in the church is following the rules given by the church. That's a very shallow version of morality, and it can lead to very immoral things. Maybe you will drink coffee or even alcohol, but hopefully by developing your own sense of morality you will avoid protecting child predators and defrauding investors.

Good luck with all this, it's a tough road!
"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

Gatorbait
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by Gatorbait » Tue Aug 15, 2023 2:03 pm

I like this post, liked reading all of your posts as well.

One of these days the church will wake up, realize that coffee's not like snorting coke off a Las Vegas whore's hind end (liked that one) and is harmless.

As one who's pulled a cork or two over the years, not to access, and drank plenty of coffee, I can say this: No one really cares, but they have to act like they do because that's the line of nonsense that they've trapped their selves in.

Good luck on the other, baptizing and the like. All our kids are grown up now and I baptized all of them and my dw was happy about it. She still wears the temple garments but doesn't like church any more than I do, maybe less. Hopefully your dw will come to understand.

Good luck noble one.
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

stuck
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by stuck » Wed Aug 16, 2023 2:52 pm

Mayan_Elephant wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 8:56 am


Don't hinge a conflict on a damn beverage that doesn't stay hot.
We had a talk and she wants me to stop drinking coffee so I can be "worthy" to baptize my son in about a year. I have agreed to do so and I think that has helped our relationship so far. However, I don't really like the other caffeine alternatives as much. When I talk with the bishop about baptizing my son I'll ask him about coffee and if he says it's ok then hopefully my wife will be okay with it.

stuck
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by stuck » Wed Aug 16, 2023 2:58 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 5:31 pm

I mean, really. Mormons can't tolerate a sinner who drinks a cup of tea, regardless of any amount of good he does, but they don't bat an eye when their own leaders get caught committing large scale SEC and IRS fraud. Their concept of morality has been completely turned upside down.

Sorry, Stuck, I'm not attacking your wife, I'm just venting my impatience for the whole ridiculous system. I wish there was a way to get people to take a 1-year vacation from the church and spend all of their time making friends with, ugh, gentiles.
Yes I agree with the bass ackwards morality of coffee drinking with sec and irs fraud :x And it would be wonderful if I could get my wife to loosen up on the "rules" a little. I should probably try to go out of town more on Sundays, because she is usually ok with just attending sacrament only when we're out of town. That would be a start.

stuck
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Re: How do you get your spouse to see that people can still be good after leaving the church?

Post by stuck » Wed Aug 16, 2023 3:02 pm

Mayan_Elephant wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2023 5:19 pm

And therein lies the crux of this NOM dilemma. If faking it to making it works, no harm done. If faking it to making it sucks the life out of you there is harm.
I agree, but I do have a hard time faking it sometimes. It's like how long do we wait until we tell our kids we don't believe in Santa Claus anymore right?

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