I am at the point in my exit-process where the reality of it seems to be sinking in with my husband. He says that he cannot trust me anymore if I don't believe the church is true. He says that I have destroyed the possibility of our family being together forever. He also says that he wants to try to work on saving our marriage.
While the realist in me knows that he simply will never be able to be honest and admit that he would rather not be married to me/a non-member, he ultimately thinks that would be the wrong decision to end the marriage just because I have screwed him and our family over (in his eyes - which I can understand because he will never, ever doubt the validity of the church).
So, I need to find a counselor who has some understanding of the Mormon faith (can anyone really if they aren't/haven't been Mormon?) and also respects my decision to follow my own discovered truths and spiritual path.
I have no idea where to look. I refuse to get counseling from a bishop (who as we all know has no training which would be helpful in such a situation) because the intent of any member of the church would be to fix ME, and not help us salvage our marriage. The person needs to be un-biased though - I am not looking for someone to tell my husband he's wrong or anything like that. He will never be able to see that, so it is pointless.
While I will never be able to understand how any intelligent human being can actually be Mormon, I do understand their beliefs and the complexity that brings to a situation like ours where my husband's whole world has come crashing down around him, and in his mind - for eternity.
Thanks in advance for any advice/suggestions on where to look for a professional individual who might be able to guide us through this process.
I only know of a local counselor in Provo, UT who would be excellent for your position. If you're in KY, it would likely be difficult to find a therapist who understands Mormonism specifically. It's sad that your husband can't trust you and see that you're being genuine and honest yourself by refusing to fake a belief system that no longer holds true to you. Good luck!
I'm in KY as well (Lexington Area), and I have been through similar circumstances. I think the church in KY is really screwed up! Luckily my wife and I are on the same page (although it took some patience from both of us understanding each other and finding common ground) so we are enjoying our new life. There is a private Kentucky PostMormons group on Facebook that you can join and maybe bounce some of your issues. It is a private group, so no one will know or see you there, so you can be totally candid - we joke a lot and have fun, but it is a group of sincere people who have been through similar circumstances, and we know how screwed up the church is especially crossing into the Bluegrass. Know you are not alone - we have found that we all have the same issues, people react the same way, every Bishop is as much of an idiot as the next. It is definitely a script brainwashed into their heads, and I wouldn't trust a Bishop with counseling. That would be like going to a Chevy dealer to get help to buy a Ford. I am glad some of us are able to break free from the bubble and see how crazy we were and learn true peace and normal behavior. My wife was a bit more staunch than I was, but after her being kind and open-minded, she saw it. We are amazed how much better life has become! Let me know either publicly or PM me and I can hook you up with the KY group. We are happy to help you with your misery, or at least give a bit of comic relief! We are kind of an apostate relief society and our women get the priesthood, as they don't listen to us men any more.
You are i between a rock and a hard place. A LDS councillor will be bais toward the church and will make you feel guilty for following your own path. A non LDS councillor will apear anti Mormon to your husband. In my situation my TBM wife accepts my atheism and departure but believes God is all loving and will not punish us by separation after death. Partly because i am a Bishop and gave 40+ years of service. That has to account for something. After all he foregave Paul and Alma the younger. But she does fear the embarisment of me being exed.
But I dare not discuss anything remotely negative about the church or Jesus. It is not open to discussion. So we both avoid those conversations. I dought your husband will be that tollerant but I could be wrong. I doubt we would be together if she fought me tooth and nail on the subject. There is no point creating a hell on earth. all you can hope for is that he will go to councilling and maybe find a crack in his own testimony as you found one in yours. Good luck in finding a good councillor, there are ones out there. Do not be timid in checking them out and ask them pertenint questions about there beliefs.
Your situation seems quite the difficult one and you have my sympathies. These types of scenarios are never easy to work through. The first thing to note is that finding a counselor who has any background with Mormonism is as you guessed, something that is going to be ridiculously difficult to find. Especially someone who can relate with all of the culture aspects of the Mormon community. Obviously this advice is for you to take it or leave it, but here's what i can suggest: It's important to make it clear to your husband that your marriage is important to you and a priority. And then it is important to let your husband know that while you feel very strongly about your decision, you're willing to help him understand why you made your decision to stop being Mormon. And that while this is a very sensitive subject for both of you that it's something that as husband and wife you both need to understand. And i would ask for a verbal commitment from him to work together on this despite how hard it may be.
Now, this is always something easier said than done, so I personally would suggest that you and your husband seek a marriage counselor who isn't Mormon. And while he might disagree to finding a marriage counselor who isn't Mormon, explain to him that it's important to find a NEUTRAL therapist who can help you both communicate and work through any hurt feelings. Tell him that you want to find a therapist that he'll be comfortable with as well and that his feelings are still important to you, but that it's important for you to be able to express your feelings in a comfortable environment as well.
Luckily for you, when it comes to marriage counselors, they are usually in the plenty in the world of therapy. So you both should have a decent pool to look through. But hands down this sounds like it's going to be very hard to work through so i wish you the best of luck and hope that you can work through this with your family.
Thanks to all for the responses thus far. It means so much to find support with those who actually understand the situation. I don't know what's going to happen. There really aren't any options in my area for counselors who might have an understanding of the Mormon church.
At this point, I feel that my husband might be trying to make my life miserable so that I'll be the one to say let's end our marriage. Then it will ALL be my fault - his heathen wife who made him promises that she didn't keep. Too bad that the only promises he seems to care about are the ones you make in the temple and I can still be a good, moral, loving wife without those promises. He doesn't seem to think so - he has also already accused me (in not so many words) of cheating on him when he found my FATHER'S shoes in our car. I'm at a place in my life where all that I have going on, and all of the directions I'm pulled in, wouldn't allow the time for an affair even if I wanted to cheat! Meanwhile, he is breaking promises to me (applying that word to things he has told me he will do) that he has made in the last few years (but we won't get into the details) and that doesn't matter because they're not "real" promises. They weren't made in the temple. Hypocrisy, folks! He truly believes that non-Mormons can't be moral people. It makes me sick. Now I know what he has thought of my (non-member) family this whole time (I'm a convert). Uggh...
What to do when you feel like you just can't take it anymore? I've never come first for anyone, myself included, and now that I step up and make a decision that truly liberates me and I know with every fiber of my being is right, it destroys my family. So sad. Really sad. If I could choose to believe the insanity and ridiculous teachings of the church, I would. At least then this all wouldn't be happening! I apologize for the venting.
I'm sorry that your situation seems to have gotten worse, you again have my sympathies, in light of your recent post though, a suggestion comes to mind that perhaps you still give some therapy a try so that you have a place where you can talk out your emotions and perhaps get some advice to help you through this difficult time. Even going to a therapist who isn't familiar with Mormonism, a good trained professional can help quite effectively, and it sounds like you could use a non judgmental ear to listen to your thoughts and offer some solid objective advice.
While the situation in its fullness is and should remain personal and undisclosed to those of us in internet-land, if your scenario continues to worsen and it doesn't look like there's any hope for recovery- then i would personally suggest that you take some time on a day when you aren't as overwhelmed and pursue some legal advice. It's never something easy to do, and for all we know in your situation may be completely unnecessary, but if you are to remain the level headed spouse, meeting at least once with some legal council for a consultation can give you a clear idea of what options are available (as there ARE many many options available before a worst case scenario divorce) to you. Again this is of course just take it or leave it suggestions and you know your scenario best and only you can make the appropriate decisions. Again, hope for the best and good luck to your difficult situation.
Thank you to all for your thoughful words and advice. I appreciate them!
Because mormonism has so many serious side effects, you will be surprised how many counselors are familiar with it. I had a fabulous counselor help me through my exit. He was a life saver and I can't thank him enough. The kicker with him - he had years of experience. If you find someone who specializes in individual therapy and has numerous years of experience and is highly recommended, you'll get the help you need.
You are at a difficult crossroads. Remember no matter what hogwash they feed you at the church, you can still be a decent, loving, moral, high-standards person WITHOUT the LDS church. Don't let them bully you into thinking you are all bad, because you aren't.
Take care of yourself and your kids (if you have any). While you are learning to take care of yourself you will see very clearly from your own perspective and your husband's reactions, if your marriage is worth the effort to salvage.
Hang in there, we have all been down this hard road and it will be ok, just don't give up. We are here for support.