My wife said she's thankful for my faith crisis

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Daeruin
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My wife said she's thankful for my faith crisis

Post by Daeruin » 08 Feb 2014, 16:47

Today my wife and I got into a religious discussion. It started out because she had heard a radio show where some DJs were mocking creationism, and we talked for a while about how to reconcile the views of science with Mormon theology. I was grateful for some of the recent discussions on that topic on this board. It was kind of interesting to talk about, and it was nice that my wife is open to some fairly nuanced interpretations of the creation story. But more interestingly it opened up an opportunity to talk about some of my recent thoughts and beliefs in a natural way.

I explained to her something that I mentioned on another thread here recently, which is the idea that I don't think there's any way to objectively prove the existence of God. She agreed—she has faith and believes in God, Jesus Christ, and the Book of Mormon, but admits that it's faith, not knowledge. Then I mentioned that given the difficulty of objectively proving God, and given that everyone grows up in different circumstances, I don't think that God would judge anyone who honestly chooses not to believe in him. "Honestly" is the key word. And that also means, to me, that a person has honestly tried to believe, or at least tried to figure out, to the best of their ability, if it makes sense for them to believe. After a bit of discussion, my wife agreed with all this. We talked about how God (at least, the typical God of Mormonism, assuming he exists) must understand intimately the way each of us has grown up, the challenges and biases and ignorances we inherited, and knows whether we are being honest and authentic within our sphere of understanding. I admitted that for the past 10+ years I never thought I had been lazy, but I realized that I really had been. I had been coasting on apathy, and I didn't want to do that anymore.

My wife then started to get emotional and began to cry. For a moment I was really worried about what was coming next. But she surprised me by saying she was so grateful for me and how honest I have been. She admitted that she went through a really rough period after I first opened up to her about my feelings. I had told her that I didn't think I would ever come back to the church, and she was devastated that her life was going to be missing something that was so important to her. I hadn't realized before how hard it was for her; she hadn't ever let on. And since we didn't marry in the temple, I had always assumed it was less important to her than it really is.

But she also said that in the past month or two she's had an opportunity to examine her own beliefs, and she realized that she's been a very lazy believer for so long. She felt like if she had married someone who believed exactly the same as she had when we got married, that she would have stagnated and missed out on some very important growth. She quoted the saying "the unexamined faith isn't worth having" and even said she believes that honest disbelief is more acceptable to God than uncritical faith. She even said that she feels like *I* have saved *her*—from the very real dangers of complacency. And she's grateful to me for my honesty and integrity in trying to do better and be authentic.

This was such a huge bonding moment for both of us. I have always been so worried that she would not understand or not accept my struggles and my new ideas. But she has surprised me at every turn and made me realize how grateful I am for her, and how badly I have underestimated her at times. She's definitely the woman for me. We still have our troubles, but I feel like our marriage is stronger and more intimate now than it has ever been. We are more open and accepting of each other. And I don't think we would be in this awesome new place if it weren't for StayLDS and all of your support and wonderful help. Thank you all so much.
"Not all those who wander are lost" —Tolkien

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nibbler
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Re: My wife said she's thankful for my faith crisis

Post by nibbler » 08 Feb 2014, 17:08

Good to hear. Thanks for sharing. :thumbup:
It is the end of the world. Surely you could be allowed a few carnal thoughts.
― Connie Willis

Ann
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Re: My wife said she's thankful for my faith crisis

Post by Ann » 08 Feb 2014, 17:14

Daeruin wrote: She's definitely the woman for me. We still have our troubles, but I feel like our marriage is stronger and more intimate now than it has ever been. We are more open and accepting of each other.
Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. I feel much the same way. There are plateaus, but it's a good, slow-paced conversation we're having.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

Curt Sunshine
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Re: My wife said she's thankful for my faith crisis

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 Feb 2014, 18:48

Thank you so much for sharing this, daeruin.

This is what this site is all about, at the most basic level - helping people find what works for them to bring a larger measure of peace and happiness into their lives. It takes each person a different amount of time (sometimes years) to reach a place of peace, and it's gratifying to read about when it is working.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: My wife said she's thankful for my faith crisis

Post by hawkgrrrl » 08 Feb 2014, 20:14

This is really great. Thanks for sharing.

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On Own Now
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Re: My wife said she's thankful for my faith crisis

Post by On Own Now » 08 Feb 2014, 20:37

I'm so happy for you Daeruin... and for your wife.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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Orson
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Re: My wife said she's thankful for my faith crisis

Post by Orson » 08 Feb 2014, 23:44

Wow, congrats! Thanks for sharing, you are a lucky man!
My avatar - both physical and spiritual.

I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

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Origami
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Re: My wife said she's thankful for my faith crisis

Post by Origami » 09 Feb 2014, 08:29

Daeruin wrote: But she has surprised me at every turn and made me realize how grateful I am for her, and how badly I have underestimated her at times. She's definitely the woman for me. We still have our troubles, but I feel like our marriage is stronger and more intimate now than it has ever been. We are more open and accepting of each other. And I don't think we would be in this awesome new place if it weren't for StayLDS and all of your support and wonderful help. Thank you all so much.
I'm so happy for you Daeruin, thanks for sharing. StayLDS was a godsend for me as well. I think it is wonderful that you share your success with everyone, I for one know that it does help people who are struggling to hear a story with positive outcomes.


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