I can relate, suzyq. My husband is uber active, serving as the Stake Executive Secretary. I was in stake callings before I spiraled down into deep depression. I could barely leave the house, let alone attend church. During that time away (some three years) I unraveled the part that the church had to play in my breakdown. One thing led to another, until one day I dared to say to myself, "maybe it just isn't true," which was immediately followed by the assuring conviction, "well, of course it isn't." My healing began that very moment.
I am so very disappointed that my husband refuses to look at any of my discoveries. We have had such a great marriage for some three decades, and I have always bounced ideas and frustrations off him for his input. Now I feel I have to edit myself. I hate it.
I'm glad you have joined this group. Having others to talk to is very helpful.
I feel for you Niksivicks. I was the one in our family who assured that we lived the letter of the law. I was so afraid that we would lose our children if we didn't show to them that we were 100% faithful to every counsel from the Brethren. We had our family home evenings, daily prayer, daily scripture study with our six children and I made sure that it all got done. While my husband always played the part of the patriarch, my grown children now say that they all knew it was me leading the charge all along.
And yet, here I am without my husband in this decision. Five of the six children have left the church and yet he stays. He doesn't study the scriptures or read the Ensign like I always did. He is a different kind of Mormon I don't understand. It hurts me that he has dug in his heels over this when he has always been so easy going. Learning about mind control techniques has helped me to make some sense of the grip that the church had on me and continues to have on my husband and helps me to not take his insensitivity to me personally.
Hopefully your daughters will be friends to you in all of this. The two of mine who are out of the church are 21 and 33 and they are a great comfort to me. I'm so sorry to hear that separation is on the table for you. I hope you can take things slowly. There are stages of grief in this so feelings will change. The best counsel I have received is to not be in a hurry about anything. All the best to you.
I can relate. I stopped believing about 8 years prior to my Husband. It was a long, hard, difficult 8 years. He did finally start to read and a year later we both resigned. My Husband's initial reaction was to be extra, super, duper religious to counter my nonbelief. He had always been more NOM or Jack Mormon until I stopped going. It's really frustrating. In the end I tried to trade up in values and focus on making my family better. Instead of the 3 hour block my kids played with cats at an animal shetler and they loved it. Instead of paying tithing, I actually made a difference in my kid's classrooms (with on 1% not 10% of our income.)
For the most part, I had to take a break for the religious discussions every so often and enjoy my awesome husband. If I just focused on what we didnt have in common all the time, it would have killed the marriage. Very emotionally tough at times, hang in there!
I can relate! I am also feeling hopeless. How can I raise my children with a different perspective when they are taught every Sunday what a sinner their non church going mother is. It helps to think that I can influence them all the other days and church is just 3 hours but the mormon community is just so encompassing. Built in friends welcoming them wherever we move. Should I leave him or not?
I am in the same boat, although I have just recently decided to leave the church...Hubby and kids are not dealing with it too well. Any advice?
What specific challenges are you facing with hubby and kids as that might help know what suggestions are most applicable?
HI SunnyDee, I was in your boat 6 months ago. I decided in order to have better outcomes with my husband over our religious difference aka my "crisis of faith", I would write out what I wanted to say so that I didn't screw it up. This really helped me. I've published a few of my thoughts and approaches to my husband and kids on my blog you can read if you want. It's janasjourneyinlife.blogspot.com. For me I took the approach that knowledge is power. I read up on all the books of persuasion that I could find. After all in order to save your marriage you must become more persuasive than the church and its years of indoctrination of your husband. "Nobuddy" gave good advice to pull that band aid off slowly. I stopped going and for a few years had four wonderful hours once a week to myself without kids while being agnostic and accepting the fact that I knew the church wasn't for me but I was ok with it teaching morality to my children. Things changed with the upcoming baptism of my second daughter. I began researching why the church wasn't true. Mormonthink.com is great, I was amazed. I realized that my feelings were strong enough to make an issue with my husband and take a stand for truth, despite the consequences. Books that hugely helped me: Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion by Cialdini (shows how easily beliefs are manipulated and begins to teach you how to be more influential). Verbal Judo by Thompson and Jenkins, helped me understand the need to be empathetic to my husband during our arguments. And I don't know if you are going down the atheist route or not but Greta Christina just came out with an awesome book about coming out to your family titled "Coming Out Atheist" with loads of great advice.*** (Get the digital version so he can't see you reading it). Even if you don't feel atheist you could think "coming out no longer mormon" while reading it. Lastly the book "A Manual for Creating Atheist" by Boghossian will teach you how to end each discussion with a socratic question for them to think about such as...What do you think accounts for the fact that different people have religious experience that they are convinced are true? After all, every religious person feels it in their hearts, with that warm fuzzy feeling, that their church is true! Or another socratic question I love: The Muslims say when in doubt to repeat the name of Allah until you come to believe, the Christians say to open your heart to Jesus to find true belief. These are easy answers that bend a person in the direction of their initial starting point. Have you considered how easily beliefs can be manipulated?? It is because of this last point that my husband agreed to read Cialdini's book on Influence with me. The book has nothing to do with religion (can't be seen as anti-mormon) but is slowly bringing home the point that perhaps he really has been manipulated. The mormon church is experts at the long-con!!!! Start that conversation asap but be prepared. ***If you don't have a lot of time for reading, this one will give you the best start.