A long introduction

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
startpoor
Posts: 193
Joined: 22 Nov 2013, 13:43

Re: A long introduction

Post by startpoor » 09 Jun 2015, 18:41

Hey FS, I just gave you temple advice on another thread but thought I should check out your life experience and see where you're coming from :)
I'm curious if there have been any new developments since joining here. Does your ward still see you as active? Have you been able to communicate with your wife more? It sounds like you're married to an understanding person, but even so, these things are tough.


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Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

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FaithfulSkeptic
Posts: 225
Joined: 06 Jun 2014, 09:04

Re: A long introduction

Post by FaithfulSkeptic » 10 Jun 2015, 15:50

startpoor wrote:Hey FS, I just gave you temple advice on another thread but thought I should check out your life experience and see where you're coming from :)
I'm curious if there have been any new developments since joining here. Does your ward still see you as active? Have you been able to communicate with your wife more? It sounds like you're married to an understanding person, but even so, these things are tough.
SP, Thanks for the advice on the other thread!

I'm still really struggling right now. :crazy: Lots of family issues - some that are related to religion and orthodoxy, but others that are not. My DW and I are not united in our parenting styles and our relationship is on the rocks. We are trying to work things out with family and marriage counseling, but we have a long way to go still.

My ward still sees me as active. I attend church every week, even though I don't enjoy it very often and I wouldn't attend regularly if it were just up to me. I still have a calling, although it is much less demanding than the one I had before and I enjoy it. My beliefs are not orthodox anymore - they really haven't been for a long time, but I've tried to act as though they were. I'm really growing tired of not being authentic, but I fear that any changes in my outward actions toward the Church would upset my home life even more.

My DW is a very compassionate person, but with all the other things going on with our kids and other conflicts in our relationship, I can't talk with her about my own feelings. I'm trying to focus on the things that we do have in common and support her in any way that I can right now, just to try to have some peace at home.

That's where I'm at. I'm hopeful things will get better, but right now things are pretty bleak.
I know of no sign on the doors of our meetinghouses that says, “Your testimony must be this tall to enter.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2014

startpoor
Posts: 193
Joined: 22 Nov 2013, 13:43

Re: A long introduction

Post by startpoor » 11 Jun 2015, 14:14

I get where you're coming from. I gave up authenticity for a while, sacrificed it like you are doing, and it drove me crazy. I needed outlets. I needed to speak up. It got to the point for me where I just couldn't fake it. Things were bad in my marriage whether I was authentic or not. A turning point for me was when I was asked to give a talk on the Restoration. It was a very honest and non-traditional talk where I told about the church's transformative power in my convert parents' lives, but how my testimony was challenged by learning evolution in school and how I still have struggles. But I quoted extensively from Crucible of Doubt, and praised the restoration for expanding the nature of God to help answer questions that couldn't be answered by traditional concepts of God. Afterwards, a few people approached me about it, wanting copies of my talk or wanting to borrow Crucible. I have since formed some good friendships and have had some open minded people to talk to. They're still full on believers, which I'm fine with, but they like to read and discuss things.
So my ward experience is now better than previously. I'm probably seen as a progressive, but mostly orthodox member. It helps that I have a large amount of liberals in my ward, and most of the conservatives are well educated. And it helps that my bishop and I can speak openly about my doubts but he still lets me keep my calling. I know not everybody has this. I still have rough weeks because despite this, we still have remarkably hardline lessons most weeks. But I have some wiggle room now in my ward to speak authentically, or at least provide balance to the discussion, but have garnered enough respect from the members that people will listen and sometimes thank me for my comments. So these little victories have brought capital into my relationship with my wife--she loves hearing when I had a genuinely good experience at church.
I'm not trying to give advice or even recommend you stray from what you're doing. Just sharing in case it helps. Having peace at home is a very valuable thing. Though I've had victories, I still have a very tense marriage, and even finding private outlets like StayLDS can be tough because my wife knows I'm on it and feels like I'm on here criticizing something that is most important to her.
I hope things get better for you. PM me if you want to talk further.


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Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

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Heber13
Posts: 6936
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: A long introduction

Post by Heber13 » 13 Jun 2015, 11:30

Sorry to hear your struggles.

For me, it was important to uncouple the things in life that I struggled with from unrelated sources of stress so I could begin to work on what needed to be worked on and move forward.

Much of what I struggled to understand was God or that God wasn't doing in my life was unrelated to religion. There were just real world issues to be taken care of for me to find peace, and how to face the fears of our struggling family, and once I could work on the right issues...I began to work towards peace in my life.

If you conflate the issues...you may be trying to spend energy and effort on faith or prayer...when really you need relationship tools like trust and commitment to work through differences.

As mormons, the religion and faith becomes woven into every aspect of life (work, relationships, depression, etc)...and I think God wants us to learn that there are some things He won't get involved with, we have to figure out life on our own. He may still be there, but doesn't always intervene.

Have you listened or read any books from Eckhart Tolle? I recommend him in helping us accept things as they are and stop trying to fix everything or control our external world. I like how he uses the example that animals in nature are not typically depressed. They are just how they are. They are hungry, they are territorial, they are aggressive, they are happy..in that moment. They do not analyze why, they just are. There is a good message in that, allowing myself to just be how I am. I think he is good.

I like how you are focusing on common ground with your DW. I hope that builds trust and commitment for you to work through your differences. Peace to you! Keep us posted.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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