startpoor, you've gotten some great advice already, and I wish you well in your quest. One thing I want to concentrate on is finding ways to define yourself for what you ARE rather than what you ARE NOT. In our common situation, it's really easy for us to become contrary... we quickly identify the parts of the Church/Gospel with which we disagree, and it's much more uncomfortable to find areas of agreement. IMO, what you need to do is to find the things that you can latch onto and be agreeable, rather than contrary. People never have to rant or become defensive about what they agree with. Make those the touchpoints in your conversations. If you can do this, then you can unburden yourself from all the taboo subjects. In my case, I have taboo subjects, I guess, but I don't really spend any time thinking or worrying about them. I have plenty of other things to talk about, so I don't need to force myself to stay away from taboo items... that just happens naturally.startpoor wrote:I have tried to just not bring things up, and for a while it was working. But I've encountered some problems: one is that DW likes to poke the wasps nest sometimes which can unwittingly lead me into a rant.
Second is that there has just become too many taboo subjects in my relationships. I want to be the guy who shows up and goes to church with his parents when I visit. Right now I'm the guy who goes to church each week partly to support DW, and get the third degree about my intentions. I want to establish boundaries so I can both be respectful, and have respect. I want to handle accusations better rather than becoming defensive. I want to get to the point where accepted even if I'm not agreed with, and respectfully watch my words with others. I just can't go forward avoiding so many subjects with people. It comes out eventually. Practiced control I think is a better road for me.
Another very important tool is to alleviate from yourself the natural desire to "explain it" to other people. For some reason, it is almost universally true among disaffected Mormons that we want to justify why we have changed our belief. Validation is a very strong motivator among us. IMO, we need to let that go. We will never let it go as a demographic group, but speaking individually, I think those who can let it go have a more clear path for finding peace. I've come to a point where I believe what I believe and I don't need anyone else either to understand me or to believe the same way I do. It's very freeing. It allows me to be part of the LDS community without being at odds with it.
A related important tool is to alleviate the need to "fix" other people. This forum is has a bit of a nervous tick for trying to find ways to change LDS people. There are lots of great examples, but my personal favorite is the desire for LDS people to say "I believe" rather than "I know" when sharing testimonies. I'm no longer a believer, and I find it helpful to think of myself as a guest. I would never have the same kinds of angst about the expressions of faith that people make in the Catholic Church as I do in the LDS Church, and I occasionally have to remind myself about that.