New member

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
User avatar
azguy
Posts: 75
Joined: 03 Dec 2015, 11:41
Location: Arizona

New member

Post by azguy » 03 Dec 2015, 16:52

Hello everyone! I have been posting over at the NOM forum for a while, but I feel like I might be a better fit over here, so I am going to give it a whirl. Here is my situation.

About 10 years ago I started seriously questioning the existance of God. I won't get into all the gory details, but it lead to me questioning my testimony on essentially every level possible. It was a very difficult time for me. I tried to open up to my wife about my feelings and I could see how it really frightened her. I have never been one to be too open with my feelings and was raised in a family where you didn't complain; you just sucked it up, set your feelings aside and did what you were supposed to, so that is what I did. For the next year or so I plowed ahead, begrudgingly and silently doing what I was 'supposed to'.

About a year later we ended up moving to a new town. I saw this as my opportunity to disappear. We were in a very fast growing area, and it was pretty easy to just disappear into oblivion, and that is what we did for the first few months. I could tell it was really rough on my wife. I felt bad about doing this to her. I felt like I was dragging her down and not living up to the commitments I made to her when we were married.

I wasn't sure what I really believed at the time. I had essentially arrived at a place where I could acknowledge that there must be some higher power in the universe which had caused it to come into existence. I felt (and always have felt) that the LDS church had much good to offer people, and since I was raised in the church and this is where my roots are, I might as well embrace them. After several months of hiding in the shadows I decided to come out. I went to find my elder's quorum president to tell him I wanted a home teaching assignment. The ward we were in was so crazy and so big that we had two elder's quorums (it would have been extremely easy to slide under the radar and be forgotten).

I really threw myself into hometeaching. I loved doing it. I really just tried to be a good neighbor and friend to the familes I home taught. My companion would never come with me, so I would go solo. Sometimes I would take my three year old son with me. The visits would last as long as my families would want me to stay and my lessons were never more than two or three minutes. My wife and I would go out of our way to invite our friends (I don't even like calling them my 'families', because they really did become our friends) over for dinners and get togethers. It was a really amazing experience and everything I think the home teaching program is supposed to be.

After several years of this and some crazy boundary realignments I was called to be in a Branch Presidency in our stake. At this point I had lost myself so much in the work of being part of the church that all my doubts really didn't seem to bother me any more. I was really just loving serving people, helping people and being part of something bigger than myself. It was a really neat experience and one that I will always treasure.

All of this takes us up to about 2011 now. We ended up moving again. It was very difficult going from the tight-nit branch we had been in with about 50 members to a full sized, fully functioning ward with hundreds of people. It was a little rough at first, but things started to slowly get better as we started to get to know people. Then 2013 hit...

2013 was definitely the worst year of my entire life. My wife and went through some pretty difficult struggles that I really don't want to talk about. We went to a marriage counselor we found through LDS family services and that eventually helped tremedously. We have reconciled our problems and our marital relationship is stronger now than I ever could have possibly imagined. It has really blossomed and been solidified by the trials we went through. The complicating factor is that, as we went through these troubles my wife came out on the other side having completely lost her belief in God. She is in a very similar position now to where I was back in 2005. She is a very beautiful, loving, fantastic woman who values honesty at a very high level. As she has become aware of our churhces very troubled past it has hurt her tremedously as she feels she has been lied to her whole life. It is so painful for me to see her go through this now. I remember back to the struggles I had previously and feel tremedously for her. Additionally, now that she is going through this experience it is causing me to relive and rethink my positions and thoughts as well.

So this is where I am now. I am very firmly convinced that much of the churhes back story is a beautiful fanciful fairy tail (I hope that doesn't offend anyone here); and at the same time I am a card carying member of the church with a fairly high level calling in my ward. My wife has been completely devistated by what she has learned about the church. She feels lied to and betrayed be the people she has trusted her whole life. She doesn't wear her garments any more and let her temple recommnd lapse. When she does attend church, which is less and less frequently now, she comes home from church every week feeling emotionally and spiritually violated and takes all week to recover from her church attendance only to be re-violated every Sunday.

The last two years have been more than I would have thought I could bare as I have watched my wife struggle and in pain. It was so easy when it was just me. I was able to suck it up and go to work, just like I had always been taught growing up, but it isn't just me any more. There is someone elses soul involved and I have to respect her agency.

I apologize for the long winded post here. I have 10 years of baggage that I am trying to unload, and I am really just skimming the surface here. I am hoping that I can find like minded people here that I can relate to and share my really feeling with.

Minyan Man
Posts: 1662
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: New member

Post by Minyan Man » 03 Dec 2015, 18:13

You've come to the right place. Your story is very familiar. Please share more as you feel comfortable with us.
We know what you're going through.
At this point, my only advice is: cling to what feeds your soul & try to ignore the rest.
Welcome to the group.

User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2902
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: New member

Post by LookingHard » 03 Dec 2015, 19:27

Az - welcome. Not sure if someone here has your EXACT story but we can relate.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

amateurparent
Posts: 953
Joined: 19 Jan 2014, 20:43

Re: New member

Post by amateurparent » 03 Dec 2015, 21:07

Welcome.
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

User avatar
azguy
Posts: 75
Joined: 03 Dec 2015, 11:41
Location: Arizona

Re: New member

Post by azguy » 03 Dec 2015, 23:04

Thanks everyone for your kind words. I am looking forward to getting to know some of you here.

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 6593
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: New member

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Dec 2015, 06:12

Welcome. Your story is familiar and many of us can relate. Interesting twist with your wife facing crisis so long after you did - I also don't like to see others suffer and struggle through this stuff and it must be especially hard with someone so close. I think my own struggle with the nature of God has been similar to yours and I now believe in a Creator who has had little other interaction with us. I do not believe in the classic LDS version of God where He is involved intimately in our lives and cares about things as trivial as finding our car keys (even when Satan hides them to keep us from going tot he temple :?).

I look forward to getting to know you better and reading more of your insights. May you find the peace you seek.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Ann
Posts: 2572
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: New member

Post by Ann » 04 Dec 2015, 08:05

Hi, azguy - Glad you're here and really looking forward to hearing more. Is there any chance your wife would participate, too? You're both welcome, and she would not be the only non-believer at this site. I feel for her situation.
"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

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 4081
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: New member

Post by nibbler » 04 Dec 2015, 08:59

azguy wrote:When she does attend church, which is less and less frequently now, she comes home from church every week feeling emotionally and spiritually violated and takes all week to recover from her church attendance only to be re-violated every Sunday.
Would it be possible for her to take a long sabbatical from attending for a while? Hearing this I'm reminded of how we treat a muscle tears. One of the steps is rest, we immobilize things for a while and give them a chance to heal, then we start a rehabilitation process to overcome the effects of the immobilization, then if things go well we return to normal use. The process requires time. If we try to return to normal use immediately the muscle may never heal. If we return to normal use too soon the muscle may heal improperly.

It's an analogy, analogies always have problems. ;) I see attending church when it feels like being violated as jumping back into things too soon and possibly prolonging the problem.

That's an amazing story. It sounds like both you and your wife have changed a lot over the years but you've still managed to be in a mixed faith environment the entire time. I'm sure you know that working through the pain takes time. No two people are the same so your wife may require more or less time than you did and she may require a different balm to ease the pain. For instance, putting my shoulder to the home teaching wheel would have only pushed me further away when I was in the thick of it.
azguy wrote: As she has become aware of our churhces very troubled past it has hurt her tremedously as she feels she has been lied to her whole life. It is so painful for me to see her go through this now. I remember back to the struggles I had previously and feel tremedously for her. Additionally, now that she is going through this experience it is causing me to relive and rethink my positions and thoughts as well.
It's good you are in a position to truly understand those feelings. You can listen. Sometimes that's all we can do.

Welcome to StayLDS.
If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.
― Joel Osteen

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 7088
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: New member

Post by Heber13 » 04 Dec 2015, 10:22

I am very firmly convinced that much of the churhes back story is a beautiful fanciful fairy tail (I hope that doesn't offend anyone here); and at the same time I am a card carying member of the church with a fairly high level calling in my ward.
No offense at all. Thanks for sharing your story. I don't find many here get offended unless it is an attack or said disrespectfully...but sharing your beliefs openly is good and the focus is more what you do with those beliefs in a positive constructive way...not just if you have them.

Believe anything you want :D Share with us if you find it is working for you with that approach and why. I also like reading others' experiences at church with different views and why some can tolerate that and some just leave.

This forum is about finding support to find ways to stay and not have that be such a bad thing.

I hope to learn more from your posts. THanks for joining the conversations.
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."

User avatar
azguy
Posts: 75
Joined: 03 Dec 2015, 11:41
Location: Arizona

Re: New member

Post by azguy » 04 Dec 2015, 10:23

Nibler, I love your muscle tear analogy. I think some time away from church might help her a bit right now.

Post Reply