A mixed faith marriage requires negotiations, right? There has to be some give and take, but finding the balance is the hard part. The past year has been very hard on my wife and I, the marriage has been strained to the point of near separation on several occasions. Two sides to every story, but I will tell you that I am entirely fine with my wife remaining an active member of the church but she is certainly not ok with me being anything more than a passively silent dissenter.

The wife has been very critical as of late, saying it is one thing to not believe any more but asking why I have to blog, read blogs, associate with the groups that I have found some like minded individuals, continue to read everything I can get my hands on with regards to church history, criticize current anti-gay legislation making it's way through the Utah legislature, listen to my weekly stream of podcasts, etc. It's hard to convey my lustful need to stay engaged in the church as I fall out of it, and I don't mean engaged in a positive and faith affirming way. :) But at the same time I am NOT mad or angry. I admit I am frustrated, but mostly I am sincerely fascinated by the church now that I can look at it from a different perspective.

The wife is not pleased, however, and has asked me to stop all these activities mentioned above. She says she feels castigated from her friends and community now. I need to blend my way back into the homogeny of the community as a disbelieving saint, remaining quiet and passive. For the sake of the marriage, I am sincerely trying - but it's not working out so well. And frankly, I don't feel this is a fair request on her part.

And I don't know why I am even taking the time to write this silly message except to vent a little bit on a private forum where she won't have to find embarrassment in my activities. :)

I would like to know what others are doing in the name of keeping peace in the marriage? I have a colleague at work that still wears the garments but does not attend the meetings. Odd? I know others that do the opposite. Some continue to serve in callings, not out of a desire to serve but a need to make the believing spouse stay pacified. And how long can such negotiated truces last before something has to give?

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I think part of the problem has been my bravado as a newly disaffected "saint" and so I want to yell and scream and declare to all that can hear that I am not in line anymore. Odd that I have this need to declare my independence from it all, and I know that I am probably sounding like a bratty child and that I am probably citing as much wrong as right. Maybe there will come a point when I just don't care anymore and I can settle into a more passive peace.
This is a great topic, I think it's different in every relationship. You know your spouse and what they will/won't accept. In my marriage, my wife has always looked up to my testimony, I had originally planned to wait silently in my disbelief for her resolve to wain as it had in the past from time to time. But when a my elder's quorum president took a special interest in me and assign me to be his home teaching companion, she wanted to know why I wasn't going out. (she assumed I wasn't going out because my companions were flakey)

Our arrangement is I am a 3 hour a week mormon to keep up appearances, and I go to social functions. We team teach a primary class and she feels I owe it to her to keep that commitment. I can see her point but I think often about telling the bishop to release us. (he knows I think it's a bunch of malarchy but doesn't mind as long as I keep my "opinions" to myself, which seems weird to me)

She doesn't like the stuff I read, she keeps saying I only look at one side... I like to point out that I only looked at one side for 27 years, and now I'm finally looking into the other side.

As for the garments I still wear them when my non-magical underwear isn't clean. Eventually I plan on phasing it when it gets old.

When we have discussions, I dominate with logic and reason (but that doesn't seem to affect her) whereas she tends to try to manipulate me and guilt me into compromising further. I tend to look down the road and suggest sensible compromises. For example: I told her I didn't want to pay tithing but didnt mind if she paid on her income. At first she resisted but she could see how it was a good solution.

My advice is to try to anticipate your spouce's concerns and propose fair solutions. I know my wife sees me as the source of unwelcome change and I try to be the one who comes up with the solutions to our problems in order to demonstrate that I'm trying to make this work.

Wow,

 

Your post mirrors my own experience 90+%.  Amazing.  I have been wearing out my garments and slowly replacing them with whitey-tighties and t-shirts without resistance from my "Eternal Companion."  She probably agrees I am no longer worthy to wear the Jesus Jammies anyway. 

 

She is upset I read any non-Brethren written literature and wonders how I can read an unbalanced feast of outside writers.  Other than that, there is an uneasy peace in the house.

 

BUT I have this annual fight with my eternal companion.  I have told my EC I don't want to pay tithing but to honor her wishes and keep peace in the family; I have conceded that half of what I have is her's.  She says that means half of my income is hers and she wants to pay tithing on that half. 

It's tax time so she has been beating me over the head that since we don't have as much tithing as we once claimed as charitable deductions on our tax form, our tax refund is suffering.  I have tried to defend things from the stand-point that the amount of money we would have spent on tithing would never be equivlent to the amount of tax refund we'd get for paying tithing to the church.  She doesn't seem to compute that at all.

She seems willing to spend (every) $10 sent to the church if it serves us to get $1 back in tax refund.  I carefully try to say we are saving money by not sending any money to the church but it falls on her deaf ears and is only reciprocated with malice.

Any supportive ideas from you folks?
Fortunately for me, money is my EC's strong suit. I think the only way it makes since that a person gets more money back in taxes from paying tithing is if your income lies just above the threshold of a higher tax bracket. Tax codes change every year, I if you filed yourself, I would suggest going to a tax preparation service and have them try to find anything you missed. If that doesn't resolve the discrepancy, then ask "the professional" point blank, why is my refund lower than last year.

You may not have to go that far, our deductions always have fallen well below the standard amount, so in our case paying less in tithing = keeping more money for ourselves.

However you resolve this, and this probably could go without saying, I wouldn't suggest flaunting in her face, but if you can't resist at least wait for her to bring it up!
@ both Dugger and Truman, I feel much better now that I know you two are struggling to move out of the trappings of the dogma as much as I am. Misery loves company. Seriously, though, I went cold-turkey on the garments last year. I hated those things from the very start. Since I was in the bishopric during my downward spiral, my leave from church has been more gradual. Immediately following my requested release I continued to do both SM and SS but skipped PH. Now I duck out after Sacrament and only go to that meeting because my wife and girls are there and I like sitting there with my eyes and ears closed, but my

It of course depends on your situation. In just a couple weeks, it will be the 2 year anniversary of when I came out to my wife, though I have not yet PUBLICLY come out as a post-mormon. It's been a long and hard process, but I have gradually gained more understanding and acceptance from her.  Some close freinds besides my wife know, my bishop, and several members of her family. By and large, though, my family and most of our Mormon friends don't have a clue. I think this has really smoothed the transition, as my wife has had time to accept my disbelief without also having to deal with the perception that I am actively fighting against what she believes. This has helped prevent her from putting up a defensive barrier to my arguments, and I think she is really beginning to accept that I have a valid position, even if she isn't yet ready to agree with me.

 

Many of our biggest arguments lately have been when I posted something vaguely anti-superstition or pro-rational-thought on Facebook. Even though none of these were directly against religion or Mormonism specifically, she felt they were a personal attack, or a public airing of our 'dirty laundry' and it really hurt our evolving dialogue. I would suggest cooling it with the public denunciation for a bit, if your marriage is a priority. Let your wife acclimatize to the new situation for a while, and lend support to the exmo community from backstage for a bit. Discuss these things with her in private, so she doesn't feel that you are taking what is to her a painful and personal transition and making it a public spectacle.

Good advice, especially in hindsight. :)

i'm coming into this rather late in the forum game. but wow. interesting!

 

I stopped wearing garments before I stopped attending and only stopped attending when I was stripped of my calling after admitting to the bishop that I was angry and filled with i don't knows. I didn't say I have stopped believeing but it was enough. I worked with the kids, they got me away from them. Forages i was secretive  about my coffee affection, because I just didn't want to add more strain. but after nearly a year, his watch cry has become "you are an adult and you can do as you please." and for that I am deeply grateful. It has been a long uncomfortable road getting here. Tithes has been a point of contention, but our finances are messy right now and since I was always the one who would hand him check book (I didn't like writing that giant check knowing how much we could use that money) and with me not doing that he grew lax, we didn't do a full tithe last year, and none this year so far . . . because I wasn't doing it. but he wants to pay tithes. but 10% is a whole lot! and we aren't  saving at all! I told him when we have some spare he can have an allowance and do as he pleases with it, golf, hookers, tithes, I dont' care. but for now we will trust that god will forgive him for my decision. 

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