Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

I am married to an ex-Mormon.

by heather

Awhile ago I was reading in a sub-reddit forum about a woman who had left the LDS Church and was looking for advice. She asked if mixed religion relationships can work out. She got some positive feedback, encouraging she and her husband to get counseling, but then she also was told by a couple people that she should just give up and get a divorce because Mormons are crazy and unreasonable. Those weren’t their exact words, that’s the G-rated version.  I wanted to reach out to her, but I wasn’t sure what to say. I can’t say that everything is perfect here for us, but I have absolutely no intention of giving up and (without knowing all the details), I don’t think that she should either. So here’s another one of those posts where I share my personal experience in hope that somewhere out in Internetland can benefit from it.

Background About Us

My husband and I were both born and raised in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (The Mormons). We both regularly attended Primary, Youth activities and Seminary. Both of my grandmothers come from ‘pioneer stock’, both of my grandfathers were converts. My parents were born and raised in the Church. My husband’s mother was a convert and his father was raised in a semi-active family. His father is now reasonably well-known in the LDS community for projects that he has been involved in.We both lived most of our childhoods in Utah County, aka ‘Happy Valley’. My husband and I went to jr. high & high school together and started dating the week before we graduated. We dated throughout the summer until he left to serve an LDS mission. While he was gone I went to the local community college for a couple semesters before deciding to transfer to BYU. I had previously said that I would never attend BYU, but made the switch because the way their nursing courses were set up made my college path shorter (if significantly more intense), and I could continue to live with my parents, rent-free. And at the time BYU’s tuition was less than most other options. I faithfully wrote to him every week of his two-year mission, seven months after he came home we were engaged and three months later we were married in the Provo Utah Temple. When he returned from his mission he also started attending school at BYU, and after trying several majors, settled on teaching.  After I finished school I got a job and worked full-time until he finished. And we had a couple kids. :) He graduated about the time that the economy fell apart and jobs were scarce. The only thing we could find was a job here, in St George, UT. After a year he quit, went back to school and he got a job that paid a decent wage and didn’t demand 70-80 hours each week.

Coming Out

One night in December 2011, I came down with an awful case of a stomach virus. I was recovering from surgery, had a breast-feeding newborn and after throwing up for several hours straight, wished for death. It was then that I decided I should probably go to the hospital. (Nurses generally only go to the Emergency Room when death is the only other option.) I found a friend to watch my three kids and my husband took me to the ER for some IV fluids and Zofran. On the way home from the hospital, he said “I have something to tell you, that I don’t think that you’re going to be happy about.” “You don’t believe in the Church anymore.” “Yes.” For the next two days I laid on the couch, he took time off work to help with the kids and we discussed his concerns and doubts. By the third day, he (and the kids) had come down with whatever I had and he was the one laying on the couch and we talked some more. It seemed to me that most of his concerns were with stupid people. A previous bishop had been an enormous jerk. He had a crazy boss that tried to use his religion to justify his dishonest behavior. His mission seemed to be full of elders who bore testimony of things that were not based on doctrine, elders who didn’t live most of the commandments that the preached, elders who despised the people in the mission. Living in Utah Valley gives exposure to all kinds of Mormon nuts. People who feel like looking perfect on Sundays is priority and then don’t treat their neighbors in any kind of Christ-like fashion. People who are just nutty and just make up ‘doctrine’. Ken Jennings said it well “Mormons in mountain west states like Utah really ARE the nuttiest nuts on the nut tree.” And the very nuttiest of those nuts can be found in Happy Valley. (Not that this applies to everyone, but anyone who has lived any amount of time there knows exactly what I’m talking about.) He was also unhappy with the Church’s attitude toward homosexuals and wacky things that previous General Authorities have said. I too, have had my frustrations with people saying and doing stupid things in the Church; I can understand that. Of course, you find stupid people everywhere. What made me sad was that he had lost the assurance that Jesus Christ loved him, or that He existed. I wish that I could place that burning conviction in his soul, but I can’t.

Reaction from Family & Friends:

I was adamant that we tell our families the truth and avoid any awkward moments where they try to plan family activities around Church events and we scramble to think of reasons not to attend. His family was hurt and some members were somewhat angry (but they didn’t tell him that). Over time I think that they have just settled on being sad about the situation. But to them he is still their oldest son/brother who they love, and we are as involved in family life as the distance permits. My family has always been dysfunctional, and the past year has brought out a new exponential level of dysfunctional behavior.  I could write many ridiculous stories on that thread, but that’s not really the purpose of this blog. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so frustrating and sad. Neither family has sat down with him and talked to him about why he left, which is greatly his fault, but it bothers him that they just treat it like an elephant that they try to ignore. I think most people in the Church just don’t know how to cope with this.

For a long time I had very few friends that I talked to about this. Growing up in the LDS community, ‘less-active’, ‘apostate’ and ‘non-member’ don’t have pleasant connotations, and we didn’t want our kids to be ostracized because of this. I don’t personally know anyone who has been in my situation. I have one friend whose husband left the Church after being a member for only a year because he missed alcohol, but he came back after another year.  I have had friends and extended family members who went through a rebellious period in their youth or who have left the Church because they found the standards too restricting. The LDS Church tends to frown on sleeping with people other than your legally married spouse, drinking alcohol and/or dealing drugs. That’s not really like this. My husband was raised in the Church and now he doesn’t believe the doctrine, but he doesn’t have a problem with living the standards. After awhile I decided I didn’t really care who knew. We haven’t posted any neon signs, but if it comes up, we state the facts. Most of my friends and neighbors who know have been awesome. They don’t seem to really care what my husband believes, and if anything they have made more of an effort to be nice to him, without making him feel like a project. (My husband is very much an introvert and tends to not say much in public.) Our friends seem to have a harder time with the idea of us being vegetarians than any of our religious beliefs.

How it Affects Marriage and Parenting:

One of the first things on that drive home from the hospital that my husband said was “Well, we can get a divorce if you want.” My first thought was ‘WAT.’ I don’t want to divorce him. My husband is awesome. He’s brilliant, he’s hilarious, he’s sensitive, he’s sexy, he’s a good cook, he’s totally devoted to our three kids and I LOVE HIM. I didn’t see why this one thing would make me want a divorce. “If you want to leave, I can’t make you stay; but I’m not going anywhere.” Unless he left, then I would have to move somewhere where they pay nurses much better than they do here or at least somewhere with a better daycare situation. “I don’t want a divorce.” “Oh, good. Let’s not get divorced. I do want to continue to raise our children in the Church, if that’s all right.” “That’s fine.” He offered to continue coming to Sacrament meeting to help me with the kids, because trying to keep three small children reverent for an hour and ten minutes by myself is a joke. He’s been diligent about helping me and often will hang out in the foyer with the baby while I manage the other two. We also have Family Home Evening every week, mostly because Thing 1 always reminds us that “Monday is my favorite day of the week, because that is when we have Family Home Evening.” Most of the time he participates and when it’s his turn to give the lesson, teaches ‘gospel neutral topics’ like kindness, honesty, service, etc.

That day back in December, he also said that someday he would probably come back to the Church, but just couldn’t bring himself to believe it right then. I clung to this, thinking that if I just loved him and prayed and was supportive that he would come back. As time when on I realized that this was more than just a phase and the likelihood of him coming back was slim. He became more antagonistic towards the Church and started to resent my ‘brain-washing’ the kids. He said he wished that I wasn’t a believer. For the most part I am a ‘typical LDS girl’ if such a thing exists. I love staying home with my kids. I taught Primary for years and loved it. I read my scriptures. I read the Ensign. My hobbies include food storage, cooking and genealogy for crying out loud. I am very ‘churchy’ and always have been. I actually enjoy these things. This is who I am. I have never pretended to be anything else. And I began to think about all the promises that he had made and realized that these were not going to happen. Our temple covenants mean nothing to him and the thought of us serving a mission together was laughable. He said several things to me that really hurt. (Several of these things stemmed from his depression.) Mostly I would take them in silence and then bring them up later after his words had time to fester. His responses would not satisfy. He began to ignore me frequently. Instead of hanging out in evenings together after the kids were in bed, he seemed to avoid me more and more. I began thinking perhaps that maybe he would be happier with someone else. I became depressed. What happened to us? I suggested counseling, but he was reluctant.

Sometimes I would talk to a couple of my friends or I would talk to my mother-in-law. Those who I talked to, were quick to take my side and tell me that I was right, or that I was a saint. Who cares about being right? I wanted to be happily married. I was frustrated because I wanted someone to look at his point of view too. He’s not the bad guy, he’s the man I love. But I could not for the life of me understand why he had left the Church. And he was reluctant to talk about it because he knew that the Church was very important to me. I didn’t know who to talk to about this, anyone within the Church seemed to assume that he was misguided. Those outside of the Church seemed very hostile towards anyone within the Church. I wasn’t sure where to find help.

Last week he asked me if ‘he knew that the Church wasn’t true, would I want to hear about it?’ I told him that I wasn’t interested in hearing his anti-Mormon propaganda. Since leaving the Church, he was frequently depressed and he hasn’t been nearly as considerate of me as he used to be. I didn’t feel like it was making him happier and it seemed silly to me to entertain it. I gave him a few examples of how I felt the distance was growing between us, while trying not to make him feel like he was under attack. He apologized and hadn’t realized how I had felt about things or how much he had been ignoring me. But he wanted to communicate more with me. I read a couple of links that he had sent me from FAIR (The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research), a pro-Mormon site that addresses tough questions directed toward the LDS Church. I’ll admit that some of the stuff sounded pretty weird and was backed up by documentation. Joseph Smith was married to women who currently had other husbands.  Strange, but by itself dismissible. I started looking for help online for he and I. I found this article from the point of view of an ex-Mormon. Obviously I don’t agree with everything he says, but it helped me come to an important realization. My husband was well aware that he had made several promises to me that he could no longer keep, because he no longer believed and to pretend that he believed would be false. Because he had made these promises he felt a lot of guilt and his guilt led to him ignoring and avoiding me. He needs me to support him in his doubts, as much as I need him to support me in my faith, if not more so. I apologized because I was reminded that if there is any way I know to be unhappy in your relationship, it is to hold on to your partner’s mistakes. Since then we have been spent a lot of time talking and researching together. I feel like our marriage is in a good place again. Words can not express the joy and relief that his brings. He still doesn’t believe and I still do, and that’s ok, even if it never changes.

How This Has Affected My Testimony

There have been many times when I thought that it would just be easier to give up on the Church. Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is demanding. It was causing contention in my marriage. I hate nine o’clock church. But I could not walk away just because it would be easier. As I have begun researching I have discovered things that have been disconcerting, things with well-supported documentation. I felt like I had been lied to by so many people throughout my life. And if I were someone else I would probably leave. However, I have had personal experiences that can not be explained away and I can not deny that they happened. The Church is full of humans and humans make mistakes, and I am definitely more skeptical of things that I hear from Church leaders. However, I still believe in my Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement, His love for me and His love for everyone else. To me, that is what the Gospel is all about.

TL:DR: My husband left the LDS Church. I am still an active member and we are working out our differences.

Advice for Those With a Loved One Who Has Left/Is Leaving the Church

Here are some things that I would suggest.

  1. Just love them. I don’t think that I can say this enough. Their beliefs don’t change that fact that you are still family and they need to be loved.
  2. Communicate. On your part this mostly means listening and being receptive. Just because you have ‘the Truth’, does not mean you are always right or that other opinions are not worth listening to.
  3. Understand that this is not an easy thing for them. Especially if you live in Utah, religion effects all aspects of life.
  4. Remember this isn’t about you. Bringing the focus of this issue back to yourself is not helpful.
  5. Don’t try to guilt-trip or manipulate. Also not helpful.

*Note- If you are like me and looking to understand this issue, I highly recommend this: Why people leave the LDS Church, and what we can do about it from Mormon Stories Podcast. It’s long, but very enlightening. I really wish that I had found this site a long time ago.

31 Responses to “I am married to an ex-Mormon.”

  1. Janeen says:

    Heather, I am so, so sorry for the heartache you both have been through and the losses you both have felt. I have family members who are no longer members and others who, though they haven’t left the church, take issue with many historical events and past and present teachings and revelations, so I have been thinking a lot about these types of things for the past while.

    I have so many thoughts about this, but since I’m sure this comment will already be much too long, I won’t share them all. I will just say that in the end, after reading and discussing and pondering some of these issues, I have come to some of the same conclusions that you have — that people are imperfect (and that leaders are influenced by their own convictions as well as by the context in which they live) but that that doesn’t make the core doctrines of the church untrue. I have had personal experiences that irrefutably point to the veracity of the gospel, one that is centered on Christ, His Atonement, and his love. I can’t deny that, no matter how many weird things went on in the past.

    I know from experience that it is very difficult for people on both sides, LDS and anti-LDS, LDS believers and LDS doubters, to really hear and understand the other’s point of view because both parties are usually very passionate about their beliefs and ideas. I’m glad that you have found a better balance than most. I hope the road ahead is filled with happiness despite the struggles and that all is right in the end.

    • Taryn Fox says:

      The part about understanding is kind of asymmetrical. >_>

      As the presentation she posted at the end explains, ex-mormons are more likely to have been extremely faithful / dedicated mormons, not long-time inactives or “jack mormons.” They tend to have a very good understanding of what their mormon friends and relations are feeling. They just have trouble doing what they feel is “living a lie,” because they tend to prize honesty. And this leads to conflicts, and the kind of irrational lashing-out that you do when you feel trapped.

      This essay is notable because mormons usually don’t understand what exmos are going through. They’ve been taught all their lives that people who leave the church are scary, dangerous, cartoonish villains, who are arrogant and want to hurt people. Just look at any video of church history. When someone they love comes out as no longer believing, they’re torn, and they very often resolve it by dropping the person entirely … which is exactly what her husband was scared of, which is why he asked about divorce right up front.

      LDS apologists tend to feel that a lot of this could be avoided if people were taught the things that cause a lot of members to doubt, instead of their finding out later on that these things were swept under the rug. But as someone who grew up autistic and mormon, there really isn’t much of a place in the church for people who aren’t “typical LDS girls/boys” IMO, whether they believe in the doctrine or not. In my case, believing just seemed to make everything harder, since I blamed myself for being “strange.”

  2. heather says:

    Great comment. Thanks so much for the support, friend. :)

  3. Aubrey Sessions says:

    I’m really impressed that you decided to share this online. I find it refreshing when people are open and honest. I also admire you for working on your relationship and choosing to keep your covenants. I’m sure it’s hard, but what marriage isn’t? Every marriage has their struggles, but they can bring a couple closer if they do the work. I think it is so awesome that you are supporting, listening to, and choosing to love your husband. Oh- and I love your blog:)

    • heather says:

      Thanks for your comments, Aubrey. You’re right. Every marriage does have its struggles and the things in life that really matter take a lot of work and effort. If it’s worth having, it’s worth working for. Also, I miss your face. :) Hope things are going well for you and your cute fam.

  4. Natalie says:

    Love you forever!

  5. Becca C. says:

    I think this is really great that you are talking about this out loud and in public. I left the LDS Church a few years back and it was really hard to talk about because people treated me different and I was scared. Thanks for being open and loving your husband like you do. You are a wonderful persno.

  6. courtney says:

    Thank you for such a balanced post! I left the church last year, but my husband and daughter still attend. It has been so difficult for us, but my husband has been very supportive. It is always good for me to get a reminder what it may feel like for my husband, and it is comforting to know we’re not the only ones in this situation. I wish you and your family the best.

  7. D K says:

    The Church is full of humans and humans make mistakes, and I am definitely more skeptical of things that I hear from Church leaders.

    I was born into the church 37 years ago, extremely faithful and devout the entire time, most recent calling in the Bishopric.

    I was here at one point too. Then I learned about the breadth and depth of bad behaviors. The vast, vast number of issues that I was totally unaware of.

    The murders, attempted murders, election fraud, child molestation, priesthood authority enforced via castration, and many other absolutely reprehensible behaviors that to me are simply incompatible with the station and mantle of Prophet, Apostle and the claims the church makes about itself.

    John Taylor (3rd Prophet of the Church) and another Apostle recorded in their diaries about the extreme, intense animosity between the 12 apostles and the Prophet that didn’t finally get resolved until Spencer W Kimball.

    They recorded that Brigham Young told the 12, and “You are my niggers and you shall black my boots!”.

    In light of all evidences, making mormonism true requires so many mental gymnastics, torturous rationalizations, reality defying denials, and fantastic, irrational suppositions and a God, the creator of the universe, who we were taught is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, to instead be so fickle as to strain all credibility well beyond the breaking point. On the other hand, everything fits very easily into one simple and logical, but disappointing explanation—Joseph Smith and his accomplices were very talented manipulators, who exploited men, women, and children and that the Mormon Church is actually a huge fraud. When this became clear to me, it also became clear that there is really no positive side to Mormonism that outweighs or balances out the simple fact that it’s a fraud.

    This is why after 19 years of marriage, five kids, and a 37 year lifetime of being members my wife and I and our 5 kids all officially resigned from the LDS church last year about 5 months after I asked to be released from the Bishopric. I’m so thankful that our family survived intact.

    • heather says:

      I’m not here to argue Church doctrine or history. There was some pretty messed up stuff there no matter how you spin it. I’m starting to research it and I’m still at a point where I don’t know. In just the past week I have found things that have completely rocked my world. In my life I have seen the Church do things that are both good and bad. There are so many things about the Church that I hope and believe to be true. I just don’t know about other things. I’m still praying and seeking for answers. Every argument has a slant. People on both sides get really emotional about this. But the point that I was hoping to convey is that the most important thing you need to do if you are in this situation is love your spouse (or sibling or child or whoever). Doubting is not a sin, and mistreating someone because they have doubts is wrong. If you have the truth you can not bring them back to it with anger or manipulation. If you value your relationships you need to love them like Christ would love them. The Church says that we need to be missionaries. You can not be an effective missionary if people feel that they are not loved, understood or respected. I believe in families. I believe in love. And I believe that people need to choose what is best for them to be happy.
      I’m glad that you and your family have stuck together.

      • D K says:

        Hi Heather,

        I agree with you. I had comment regarding pray and faith I would like to share. What I settled on was the following (taken from the letter I sent to my extended family):

        Faith is for the realm of the unknown and unknowable — where there is no or little evidence one way or another.

        The issue with Mormonism isn’t lack of evidence (where faith comes in), but rather the extensive, substantial contradictory evidence, found in the Church’s own sources, that makes the claims of the Church impossible to believe when one is no longer ignorant of well sourced and documented history as opposed to the hagiographic history taught in church.

        I don’t believe that God would require that we believe something in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary. In other words, I don’t believe in a “trickster” God.

        I believe in a Heavenly Father that would not disapprove of my honest search for the truth. When I reach judgment day, I have every confidence that I will be able to look Him straight in the eye and tell Him I made the best decisions and judgments I could based on the evidence/knowledge available and the intellect He provided me. Our omnipotent, loving God will know my mind and my heart. He will know that the conclusions I reached were well-founded and sincere.

        • D K says:

          … continued …

          Regarding family relations, what disappointed me was some of the reactions from my extended family. My wife and I went through a gut wrenching realization about the LDS Church after a noble and honest search that was biased in favor of the Church.

          We wrote lengthy, heart felt, letters to our family, including the excerpt I included above.

          Yet, the first words out of my father’s mouth after he read our letters was, “In my experience, people who leave the Church do so because they want to sin, or not repent of existing sins.

          The oft used stereotypes of “you were offended”, “you wanted to sin” or “you were led astray by anti materials” are hurtful and in my experience very very rarely applicable.

          • heather says:

            Thank you. I do appreciate your comments. More to think about as we search through this mess. The more I search the more people I find who left the Church over history or doctrine, not a penchant to sin. But of the people I know in real life who left the Church, they actually did leave because they preferred not to marry their partners, didn’t like to be told to behave, liked alcohol and/or were dealing drugs. But like I said I come from a fairly dysfunctional family. I am well aware that my family is not a accurate statistical sample of anything. I have a feeling that there are many people I know who are closet NOM’s and I just don’t know it.

  8. Jay Bryner says:

    Heather I’m an exmormon who stumbled on this blog post because it was linked to on the exmormon subreddit. I want to thank you for writing this up and I think its fantastic.

    I can no longer believe the truth claims of the church, but I’m really really proud to be part of my very LDS extended family. I think my parents are really wonderful people. I’ve got cousins who are in bishoprics, or working for the CES. And even though I really do agree intellectually with even the angry exmormons (I think they’re right…) I’m not going to try to deconvert any of my LDS friends or family any more than I’m going to try and deconvert my next door neighbors who are Catholic. Seriously. I love these people. A lot. I was very reluctant to come to the conclusions I was coming to when I left the church.

    This is sort of a tangent but I just want to say it because I think it needs to be said. Exmormons don’t stop loving their mormon friends and family. Sometimes our actions communicate the opposite, but its not how we feel.

    Two links – This is a podcast between Dan Wotherspoon (a really really good guy) and Brian Dalton who does the web video series called “Mr Diety”. They talk for a couple of hours and the whole time it seems like Brian Dalton is an angry atheist exmormon. Then at the very end Brian Dalton says “You know, if I could pick my neighbors, I’d pick Mormons.” I don’t think believing mormons really understand that. But its true. We love you guys.

    Second link. This is an exmormon subreddit thread where a believing mormon asks the exmormons why they are so angry. Everybody should read the comments on this link.

    It sounds like you’ve got a good thing going with your husband. When one spouse leaves the church it is so easy for the miscommunication to happen. Divorce is so common it breaks my heart.

    Thanks for speaking out. I’m glad you did.

    • heather says:

      Jay- I love your comments about your family and your neighbors. It’s nice to hear from ex-Mormons who aren’t angry. (Although I am aware that there are people who have left the Church who have every right to be angry.) Thanks for the reading suggestions.

  9. Miss says:

    Stopped by from a link at the exmormon subreddit. My husband and I left the church almost a year ago now. My two cents: you deserve to know truth no matter what that entails. And in my opinion, our children deserve to know truth even more (because I don’t care much about myself, but when it comes to teaching my daughter something, I need to be 100% sure). My husband who was born and raised in the church (I was a convert) had such a sad and crazy time researching the inconsistent doctrines of the church. Although he wouldn’t let himself study it out for years even though he had heard “rumors” about weird teachings or historical facts, once we realized that our child deserves the truth more than anyone, we knew we had to find out for her sake. Good luck with your journey :) and all the love you have for hubby is great!

  10. Annie says:

    Heather, my husband just found your post and shared it with me. I can’t express how wonderful it is to know that I am not alone. I can’t believe there is someone else in almost our exact same position. I know many wives with a non-member husband but none who married a return missionary in the temple and then had him go in-active. For us it occurred right after our first wedding anniversary. He questioned his testimony and was unsure. It felt like the rug had pulled out from underneath me. We worked through it, we still loved each other, and he said no matter what he ever decides, he will support me raising our kids in the church. (We had no children at the time.) Now, almost ten years later, a few marriage counselors and quite a few divorce considerations we have 3 beautiful girls, we love each other even more, and we fight very hard to make this marriage work.

    My husband has many of the same issues and frustrations as yours, in fact, the more he studies books published by the church, the further from the church he gets. (It’s also getting harder for him to support me in raising our kids in the church.) Our marriage hasn’t been an easy one and we never thought it would happen this way. One thing I learned in the last year that made a world of difference was that I had to forgive him. I had to forgive him for leaving the church. What I hadn’t realized was I’d been holding resentment and the feeling of betrayal buried deep inside. He may have chosen to leave the church, but I chose to stay married to him. I needed to be ok with my choice, be happy with it, and accept where my life was so that I could move forward and be happy. When I finally forgave him it was as if a great weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was able to find true happiness in our marriage again. It is still hard and probably always will be. In fact, our oldest turns eight this year and will make the choice for herself on whether to be baptized or not. A comment she made recently was, “It’s really hard having a mom who believes and a dad who doesn’t.”

    We never wanted or planned this path our marriage has taken. We love our kids, we love each other, and we want this marriage to work. So we’ll continue to work on it and strive not to give up.

    Thank you sincerely for sharing your story. It touched my heart.

    • heather says:

      Annie- I’m glad that my story could help you. That’s part of why I wrote it, because I felt alone in my situation. I knew there had to be more people out there like me, just none that I know personally. It’s nice to hear from you. :) If your YW leaders were anything like mine they told you that if you are married in the temple and are obedient, you will have a happy marriage. I remember thinking, ‘I did what I was supposed to, right. How did this happen?’ Things aren’t that simple. Marriage takes work, understanding, forgiveness and tolerance, no matter who you marry. I understand thinking that this would never happen, I don’t think that any member with a strong testimony plans on losing it. However, sometimes this happens for a number of reasons. But it doesn’t matter why this happens, what matters is how you handle it. There have been times during this ordeal that I questioned if I made the right choice at various times or if there were things that I should have done differently, because it has been hard. Really hard. It took awhile, but we’ve come to a good place again. But now that we’ve been communicating more, we’ve both realized mistakes that we’ve made through this process and our marriage is better than it has ever been, ever. I really mean that. I don’t know what the future holds, but I am so grateful that I have not given up. I believe that if a difference of faith is one of hundreds of conflicts in your marriage, sure, throw in the towel. But if you feel like that is the primary problem, and otherwise you have a good thing going, it’s worth working through. I wish you and your family the very best.

  11. Wendy says:

    I appreciate your openness to a very painful issue. My husband left the church a year ago and it has turned my world and my kids world upside down. He is very bitter and angry and cant seem to leave it alone. He is spreading lies to my children and becoming very hurtful and disrespectful to what I hold dear. He is pushing me to a divorce. I told him that I would respect his decision and ask him to respect mine. He has not followed through on his promises. I would love to have more contact with you if you are willing.

  12. ruth says:

    We are not alone! I too, am married to an exmormon….I have a support group on facebok…. I love an exmormon….please note imbnew to groups and its closed to protect the privacy of the members but I will add anyone who wants to be part of it. Peace lov3 and happiness!love ruth

  13. […] & motherhood), but I’m aware that there are people who read my blog only because of this post where I discussed my husband leaving the LDS Church. In the past six months I have spent a lot of […]

  14. Barbara Anderson says:

    I did not know your husband had left the church. I had seen a few thing posted on facebook that lead me to believe there was a problem. But I did not ask, and know one said anything. I am very proud of you for telling your story. I have never told anyone that I have left the church, I just figured they knew. There has been enough fights with my sisters about what I believe. Funny thing none of them know what I believe, I know this because what they repeat back to me is so often not what I said. It has been a painful processes, even though They still love me, we can not talk about religion at all. My dad told me something one time. He said that you had to be careful about studying the history of religion, because most people that do stop believing in it. He said he did not know why, it was just an observation of his. Will I know why. I am not saying I don’t believe in God, I am saying I don’t believe in religion.
    God bless you, and I hope the two of you stay very happy together.

    • heather says:

      Thanks Bobby. Your dad said some very wise things that have effected me more than you know. I wish you and your family the best and hope that you find happiness in your beliefs. :)

  15. Hales Swift says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog post. When I read your comments about how it felt to learn unfamiliar information that differed from how things had been taught typically or how they are typically understood, and also when you mentioned trying to understand your husbands feelings, I thought you might be interested in a book, “Shaken Faith Syndrome”, by Mike Ash, which talks about exactly those things. It’s been a real favorite among a number of people I know that are either going through a faith crisis, or experiencing the struggles or pain of a loved one experiencing such a crisis. I hope everything goes well for you guys!

  16. […] to convince anyone, I’m telling my (our) story to tell the story. I told part of our story here, but there was more to it, before and after. I have many friends and acquaintances who have asked […]

  17. Ann says:

    Thank you for this post- I have felt so alone, so unhappy and so afraid for my family- I needed some hope, I needed to know that my marriage can survive this, that we aren’t doomed to making each other feel unfulfilled and miserable. I want it to work I want to keep my family together but I need to feel loved and valued and safe too… and I know WE need it… do you have any regrets?

  18. Ann says:

    is this still a group, I could really use some support!

    • heather says:

      I have not been updating this as I am in graduate school. I also haven’t kept up on all things progressive/post Mormon. I know there are multiple support groups out there through FB, reddit and other websites, as well as some in person depending your location. Good luck! And no regrets

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