I Came Out To My Wife

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Harriet Naomi
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Joined: 09 Aug 2016, 15:43
Location: West Coast, US

Re: I Came Out To My Wife

Post by Harriet Naomi » 29 Aug 2016, 13:49

Shawn,

I don't have anything more to add to the excellent advice posted already. I just wanted to say that I feel for you and your family as you go through this change. I am sure it is tough on both you and your wife and maybe confusing for your children. I hope for you all to come to a place of peace, love and understanding.

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Shawn
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Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 14:22
Location: Utah

Re: I Came Out To My Wife

Post by Shawn » 29 Aug 2016, 15:00

I appreciate everyone’s comments and I will to reply to them, but I first want to give an update on my situation. Last night my wife told me that our bishop invited her into his office during the Sunday School hour. He asked her about my situation and she told him about my doubts regarding the priesthood ban and polygamy and maybe some other things. She said he was kind and understanding and he told her that his daughter and son-in-law recently left the church. Then all three members of the bishopric gave her a blessing of comfort. She said the bishop might ask to come in for a visit.

I think it’s odd that the bishop would call her in to ask about me, unless his counselors told him something about. I actually hang out with both counselors sometimes and I may have said some things to cause them concern. I suspect my wife actually asked the bishop to talk to her, but it really doesn’t matter. I wouldn't mind if that's what really happened.

I decided to call my friend in the bishopric who extended the calling to me a couple months ago. I said, “Hey, I think it’s a good idea for me to not be a Sunday School teacher anymore. I don’t have a good enough testimony. I think if parents knew about that, they wouldn’t want me teaching their kids, even though I’m not seeking to influence them negatively.” He said, “Okay. I’ll pass that along and let you know what we come up with. Thanks for the call.”

So I hope I hope I’m not expected to teach this coming Sunday. I just can’t do it.

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Shawn
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Location: Utah

Re: I Came Out To My Wife

Post by Shawn » 29 Aug 2016, 15:28

SD, thanks for your feedback. It’s important for to let my kids know that I no longer have a testimony. I don’t want them to be deceived into thinking I’m a believer because I attend with them. I want to see them get married, so I hope they will get not get married in a temple – at least not initially.

I want to say something like “Hey, I just want you to know that I no longer have a testimony. I’m still going to go to church and support you.” Maybe that’s all.

amateurparent, I will not demand that my wife follow me. I don’t expect her to change, but I am going to make some effort to influence her. My brother-in-law has been a non-believer for several years and his wife (my sister) was TBM. Just last year, she decided she doesn’t believe anymore and now they are going through the process to resign. They both told me they have never been happier. I am friends with a couple who told me just about the exact same story. I believe we will be happier if my wife follows me and I have to at least try to make it happen. I understand I need to be careful and not pushy.

dande48, I no longer believe that the church is good, but I recognize some good things within it. I would like to kids to keep going to activities, except for the ones that are focused only on spiritual stuff.

Ann, I think it was good for me to be blunt and tell my wife what I really think – that it’s all bullcrap. However, I’m not going to repeat that to her on a regular basis. I agree that I should do positive, loving thing for her.

LookingHard, I’m interested in the list of readings your are preparing. Will you share?

Heber, you have given good advice, as always. I see what you mean about symbols and I’m going to think about that more.

Harriet, thank your for your kind words.

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Holy Cow
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Location: Las Vegas

Re: I Came Out To My Wife

Post by Holy Cow » 30 Aug 2016, 09:44

Shawn, I can relate to everything you're saying. My wife and I separated over my FC, mostly because of a friend of hers who convinced her that I was an unworthy husband and that she needed to find a new husband who would take her to the temple every month. My wife and I just recently got back together after half a year apart. Her friend (who is related to a previous Q12) has moved to SLC, and that has been very beneficial to get that friend out of her ear.
But, having unloaded everything from your plate, I'm sure you're feeling some relief. It's a heavy burden to carry alone. What I found was that when I unloaded what was on my broken shelf, I got rid of the burden, but my wife took it on herself. So, suddenly she was feeling burdened. One thing that has been a huge help to us in getting back together has been my support of her doing things with the church. If I want her to be accepting of my doubts and unorthodox beliefs, I have to give her the same respect and allow her to believe whatever she wants to believe. I have to double down on talking about the things that I DO believe, so she can remember that we do still hold some common ground. I also started talking with family members, friends, and the bishop about exactly what I do and don't believe. This relieved the burden from my wife feeling like she had to keep it a secret for me. The more open you are about it, the less burden it will put on your wife. Most of the people I've talked with have been supportive. There have been a few that have reacted negatively, but that is my burden to bear, and not my wife's.
I haven't worn garments in years, for the same reasons you're explaining. And, for me personally, it was a positive experience to stop wearing them. I felt hypocritical in them. If people consider them a sacred garment, then I don't want to wear them, knowing what they represent. I don't wear garments for the same reason I wouldn't wear a jewish yarmulke or a catholic priests vestments. But, I also support my wife in wearing hers, and I respect anybody's right to wear them.
Tithing can be a sticky point, because your wife's temple recommend may be affected by it. My wife pays tithing on her income, and I support that. I pay 10%, but not to the tithing fund. I give 3% to a local charity, and the other 7% I split equally between Fast Offering and the Perpetual Education fund. I believe it's good to give, but I don't give to the Tithing fund for personal reasons. That's between you and your wife.
And sharing with kids is also touchy. I don't know how old your kids are. I don't share much with my 8 year old, but I speak a little more plainly with my 11 year old. He talks about not believing some of the things that the church teaches. I don't tell him what I do or don't believe. I simply tell him that he has the freedom to decide what he believes. I've told him that I don't believe everything I hear at church either, but that I still think that we can learn a lot of good lessons there. I want him to learn to search for truth. I don't want him to give up on religion, just because church is boring. But, I want him to really put some thought into what he believes, independent of what I believe or his mother believes, or anybody else.
"Coming out" can be a stressful experience! I hope you'll continue to update us on how things are going for you guys. Everybody else has already given much better advice than I ever could. But, I would just repeat the messages about respecting your wife's beliefs, just as you want her to expect yours. It sounds like you've gotten things off on the right foot already. Good luck!
My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6139

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nibbler
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Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: I Came Out To My Wife

Post by nibbler » 30 Aug 2016, 10:18

I know that coming out to a spouse can be an extremely difficult thing. It can be like transferring our anxieties from one person to another, before the talk we might have a lot of anxiety about how our spouse will react, after the talk our spouse might have a lot of anxiety about what all of this means for them. Our spouses need support as well.

It's a big step. The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

Roadrunner
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Joined: 25 Sep 2012, 15:17

Re: I Came Out To My Wife

Post by Roadrunner » 30 Aug 2016, 13:36

What you did is a difficult thing. I'm glad you are supportive of one another.

I "came out" to my wife in full about a year ago. She had known for a long time I had doubts but she was floored by the extent of it when I disclosed everything. One thing that I think helps our relationship is that I try to be honest and fair regarding the church, for both positive and negative things. When the church does something right, I try to recognize that. For example one of my kids remarked yesterday about the social network of the church and I responded that it's one of the main things I like about the church; that you have a ready-made social network almost anywhere in the world. There are many positive things about the church and it's good to remember and recognize those.

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LookingHard
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Re: I Came Out To My Wife

Post by LookingHard » 31 Aug 2016, 04:47

Shawn wrote:LookingHard, I’m interested in the list of readings your are preparing. Will you share?
It still needs refining, but here is the list that I will base it on. I will publish my more final version. There are a few at the end that are more for you as the spouse coming out.
And it isn't all "readings" as I have mentioned, I am a podcast junkie. I never listen to the radio in the car anymore and if I am alone (including doing stuff like mowing the lawn or taking a walk) I have a podcast going at 2x speed.

Another testament of marriage on facebook.

http://www.mormondiscussionpodcast.org/ ... -marriage/

http://www.mormontransitions.org/007-vu ... marriages/
http://www.mormontransitions.org/015-ho ... ach-other/
http://www.mormontransitions.org/episod ... ransition/
http://www.mormontransitions.org/episod ... -children/
http://www.mormontransitions.org/018-wh ... e-support/
http://www.mormontransitions.org/how-to ... ransition/
http://www.mormontransitions.org/episod ... ansitions/

https://www.dialoguejournal.com/2016/di ... -petersen/
Dialogue - #29 with Boyd Peterson 39:30 - 49:29
• Don't Freak Out
• Just Listen - give some Empathy
• Don't Judge
• Don't preach or bear your testimony
• Be prepared to learn something
• Don't lose confidence
• It isn't the end of the road, trust God
• Preserve the relationship
All recapped in
http://boydpetersen.com/2016/02/21/what ... th-crisis/
http://rationalfaiths.com/landing-instr ... th-crisis/

The book Planted

The book "Navigating a mormon faith crisis" book (need to finish reading this first)

http://rationalfaiths.com/a-how-to-guide/

http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/4190887-1 ... aven-hurts
I think this was just an example I wanted to show of how I feel.

http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/ ... onvictions

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2016/08/the- ... e?lang=eng
A prophet of God once offered me counsel that gives me peace. I was worried that the choices of others might make it impossible for our family to be together forever. He said, “You are worrying about the wrong problem. You just live worthy of the celestial kingdom, and the family arrangements will be more wonderful than you can imagine.”

http://www.faceseast.org/ (I have not looked at this yet, but a glance at it looks like it is inactive - nobody posting for years)

More for you, the coming out spouse.
Remember - YOU are the one that has changed
http://www.mormontransitions.org/008-te ... ransition/
http://www.newordermormon.org/essays/my ... -a-nom.php
Last edited by LookingHard on 31 Aug 2016, 07:35, edited 1 time in total.

Ann
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Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: I Came Out To My Wife

Post by Ann » 31 Aug 2016, 05:48

Shawn, I definitely understand hoping to get onto the same page with a spouse.
"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

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FaithfulSkeptic
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Re: I Came Out To My Wife

Post by FaithfulSkeptic » 31 Aug 2016, 15:13

Shawn,

I don't have anything to add to the great comments that others have added. Just my support. I wish the best for you and your family!
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

Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: I Came Out To My Wife

Post by Roy » 05 Sep 2016, 11:28

Hi Shawn,
Shawn wrote: I believe we will be happier if my wife follows me and I have to at least try to make it happen. I understand I need to be careful and not pushy.
I agree. Being on the same page is very much conducive to happiness. If my wife agreed with me on big issues it would add to our happiness too! :D If I could go back to being an orthodox believer that too would probably add happiness. DW for years would talk about my faith transition as though it was just a passing phase. I was trying to get her to give respect to my feelings by acknowledging their permanence. She once told me, "How can you know that you will not change back? You unexpectedly changed to head down this road of faith transition? How can you say for sure that you will not unexpectedly change back to how you were before?"

Months later when things were calm, I was able to explain that my faith crisis was caused because my expectations did not match my reality. I was believing that God was "bound" to give me blessings of protection for my family because of my loyal church service. It was a shock to be jolted from that expectation and I have since adjusted my beliefs to not expect interventions from God.

I hypothesized that for me to go back to believing in an interventionist God it would take for my expectations to again not match my reality. God would need to intervene in some clear unmistakable way... another shock or jolt like experience.

Her response was something along the following, "So your saying there is still a chance!!! :D :clap: :D :clap:

It felt like a breakthrough as DW validated that these were feelings and worldviews that I was unlikely to just grow out of and I also admitted for DW that I do not know everything and Life and God could surprise me still.

Looking back it was damaging for me to have DW hoping for me to change instead of getting to the work of accepting and loving the me of today. Her wanting me to change meant that she was disappointed in the me of today and that unless I changed she would likewise be disappointed in whatever future we had together.

I wonder what your spouse may have to give up if she were to stop believing in the church. Friends? social structure? support network? approval and inclusion with extended family? a moral system of right and wrong? eternal marriage and family? her identity as a wife and mother in Zion? A feeling of certainty for life's big questions? a sense of meaning and purpose for her life? The list goes on and on and on.

How much is it fair to ask her to give up in order that she might be on the same page with you and contribute to your joint happiness in this way?

Just my $0.02 from my particular journey. Your mileage may vary.
"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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