One of my big issues

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conflicted testimony
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One of my big issues

Post by conflicted testimony » 10 Sep 2013, 15:59

I have a friend whose husband decided he didn't want the marriage any more, he had started seeing someone else before he told her this, though claims it was not physical.

He would still turn up at her house in the middle of the night wanting sex, as she was still his wife.

She has been to the bishop to ask what she should do and is in counselling. Their 5 children are confused.

He has never been to Bishop and still holds a temple recommend. He even went to the temple with his new friend, as well as with his wife on separate occasions in the space of 2 weeks.

It is a temple marriage.

We were out to dinner one night with some other female friends, both whose marriages had broken down because of violence (1 ended up in hospital) and abuse. In both cases they said that their ex-husbands were supported through this time, and they were left out in the cold. One said a sister came up to her and asked how she could possibly leave her marriage!!!

Both those ladies moved a long way away to our ward to escape the stigma of their broken marriages and the lack of support from the priesthood.

In the case of my friend, how can her husband still hold a temple recommend? Shouldn't the bishop step in when he knows something is going on? The husband's father is on the bishopric and knows what is going on in the marriage as my friend has told him.

More and more I am finding that the church supports the male and the female feels disregarded. In my own circumstance, my husband had a problem with gambling, he took us to bankruptcy and I was advised by my bishop to forgive him rather than leave and protect my children from homelessness. He did tell my husband to get counselling but never followed up on it. I ended up implementing my own rules, gave ultimatums, and we managed to come through it on my terms, but only after treating him like a child, taking away all access to money and giving him a weekly allowance. I was not supported by my bishop through this, yet my husband was prayed over.

My disillusionment with a sexist church grows by the day. I wonder if this is the reason I wanted to run screaming from the temple shouting out that it was all wrong. At the time that happened I only had my own experiences to draw on, not those of the ladies who have confided in me.

Not sure what I am saying here, but is the church so male focussed that females don't count? I know the scriptures of being equals. Not a problem, It appears the implementation of that is wrong.

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QuestionAbound
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Re: One of my big issues

Post by QuestionAbound » 10 Sep 2013, 16:56

I feel for you.
A dear friend of mine had a husband who was emotionally abusive.
She had her own problems (always the victim, etc.).
During their divorce, she went in to renew her TR.
The SP member asked her if there was something about her marriage that she wanted to share.
She told him that she had nothing to share with him.
He asked if her husband had any issues - she told him to ask the husband.
He then said something like, "Oh, I know your husband. He's a good man."
But then...and this is the kicker...he said, "I feel very strongly that you are withholding some information and for that reason I must keep your recommend."

She was stunned...she walked out of his office without her TR.

She got it back after some time...even when no new information surfaced.
But...her now ex-husband has kept a TR the entire time.

Maybe some church leaders are afraid to upset the man for fear of what the fall-out will be?
Maybe women are easier targets b/c we are truly more "submissive"?
I don't know the answer...but I dare someone to ask me a question NOT in the TR script. :)

Curt Sunshine
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Re: One of my big issues

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 Sep 2013, 17:56

In the case of my friend, how can her husband still hold a temple recommend?


He shouldn't. How can he? Lots of bad reasons.
Shouldn't the bishop step in when he knows something is going on?


Yes, but without knowledge of a sexual component many aren't willing to do so. I think that's wrong and discouraging, but Bishops (like all of us) tend to be too strict or too lenient - and we complain, legitimately, about both.

Also, in broad terms, men tend to be better liars than women.

That's one reason why I would not grieve if I died having never been a Bishop.
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: One of my big issues

Post by hawkgrrrl » 10 Sep 2013, 18:17

This is extremely discouraging to hear. It's not been my experience or that of my relatives, though. All I can say is that I believe it happens. Some bishops are very sexist. And men are less likely to recognize the sexism in another man. If they don't see it, they won't address it.

Roy
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: One of my big issues

Post by Roy » 11 Sep 2013, 09:17

I read a book that was titled something like "Confessions of a Mormon Bride" In that book she gets a divorce and seems to be to receive very different treatment than her spouse from her ward leaders. She described that the bishop wanted to meet with her fairly regularly to make sure that she was staying chaste after the divorce when no such suspicion was directed at her ex.

This occured in the 60's or 70's so I believe that this type of overt sexism has diminished. Though, as a married man, I have no direct experience to test that theory.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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On Own Now
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Re: One of my big issues

Post by On Own Now » 11 Sep 2013, 10:27

conflicted_testimony,

FWIW, my perception has been the exact opposite of yours. What I have observed is that men are more likely to be punished, or to have more significant punishment, than women. That doesn't resolve the specific issue of your friend, but perhaps provides some balance to the favoritism issue.

Ann
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Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: One of my big issues

Post by Ann » 11 Sep 2013, 10:38

conflicted testimony wrote:

My disillusionment with a sexist church grows by the day. I wonder if this is the reason I wanted to run screaming from the temple shouting out that it was all wrong. At the time that happened I only had my own experiences to draw on, not those of the ladies who have confided in me.

Not sure what I am saying here, but is the church so male focussed that females don't count? I know the scriptures of being equals. Not a problem, It appears the implementation of that is wrong.
Hi - No wonder you're "conflicted testimony"! I would say that, in very general terms, local leaders place more importance on a man staying active/on board/tithe-paying/with the program than women. I think they feel like the women will come and go with the men, so the priority is keeping the men. Get them committed, squared-away, married. Maybe that's too much generalizing, but I did see it up close and personal in my immediate family once, and it scared me to death once I realized how oblivious I had been to the obvious concern for the man in the equation over the woman who was near and dear to me.
"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

Dax
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Re: One of my big issues

Post by Dax » 11 Sep 2013, 12:03

In my experience it has also been the woman that is judged and monitored in the church not the man. I have seen entire wards shun the women of the divorce equation while simply giving the guy a pass on his affairs. I'm sure it is not every ward as on our own mentioned. I think perhaps the emphasis on the failure is attached to the women because in our church and culture, family and home are one of the few places women have any "set role" to play. The failure is seen as her not being spiritual enough to warrant God's blessings in keeping the home together. I have heard several of my divorced female friends lament that "if only they were more righteous and followed the commandment better Gid would have blessed their marriages." It's the women I hear say this not the men. Some have even been told that by their bishops. So I guess it's back to the priesthood roulette game.

Roy
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Re: One of my big issues

Post by Roy » 11 Sep 2013, 15:19

Dax wrote:I think perhaps the emphasis on the failure is attached to the women because in our church and culture, family and home are one of the few places women have any "set role" to play. The failure is seen as her not being spiritual enough to warrant God's blessings in keeping the home together. I have heard several of my divorced female friends lament that "if only they were more righteous and followed the commandment better God would have blessed their marriages."
I think I get this. When we lost a child I felt like I had failed in my role as "protector" and that maybe if I were more righteous God would have stepped in.

We do tend to teach that if you follow the gospel plan your family will be healthy and happy. Sometimes when this doesn't work out we sacrifice our own self worth on the righteousness=blessings altar.

DW takes the kid's misbehaviour personal because it reflects on her as the primary caregiver. I assume people might judge her as a "bad mom" over these episodes.

If a man were unemployed for a period of time, we may feel that he had some bad luck but i believe there might also be an undercurrent of judgment that he isn't bringing home the bacon (due to poor career/educational choices?, laziness?, too picky/prideful to work a dead end subsistence job?).

I would tell my friends that God loves them and that the idea that they weren't spiritual enough is baloney. God loves them as much as any of his children. They are not defective or used up. Part of God's plan seems to be to send us to an uncharted life in a sometimes random and chaotic world. They aren't "failing" God's plan - they are living God's plan.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

conflicted testimony
Posts: 46
Joined: 05 Aug 2013, 15:34

Re: One of my big issues

Post by conflicted testimony » 11 Sep 2013, 20:16

hawkgrrrl wrote:This is extremely discouraging to hear. It's not been my experience or that of my relatives, though. All I can say is that I believe it happens. Some bishops are very sexist. And men are less likely to recognize the sexism in another man. If they don't see it, they won't address it.
I have spoken to my husband about my view on sexism in the church. When I first mentioned it, he said he had never seen it happen. I then told him about specific instances, including ours, and how it would be seen and felt my the females and he got it.

If I had said nothing he would be oblivious. Interesting as he had his own issues with comments from other members when he stayed home to look after babies while I went to work (this was the only way to be able to survive without moving away from family support). It was a tough job, he started when the twins were 3 months, went back to work while I was pregnant with son, then stopped work and started looking after them again when son was 7 months. So he had 2 x 2 yr olds and a baby, without typical mother's groups and support, and he did a great job. Yet the comments were highly offensive.

So the sexism I have witnessed goes both ways!
Last edited by conflicted testimony on 11 Sep 2013, 20:29, edited 1 time in total.

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