In this part I will tell you about the mixed faith marriage and how it unfolded for us.
As I mentioned last time my choice to step away from church was very challenging for my husband. I don’t blame him. I had a pretty good idea why. This type of thing isn’t supposed to happen. We are not supposed to be the empty chair at the table or the broken link in the chain. The reason he married me was because I was such a straight arrow. He wanted a classic Mormon family. But that didn’t change the fact that I was no longer attending and we had a marriage and family and we needed to renegotiate some things in our life and marriage.
To be honest we did nothing at first. It was just a big elephant in the room. We were both still very fresh in our pain. I was still figuring out my faith and where I stood and he was probably in a bit of shock and denial. Both were perfectly normal. This is a significant loss and grief and all its phases are to be expected. Don’t expect things to be easy. Here are some phases we experienced:
For the first few months. We just survived. We went to work, made dinner and drove the kids to their activities, and paid the bills. That was about it.
Then we entered the egg shell period. At this time, we were able to dip our toes into some deeper conversations. They rarely ended well. Feelings were tender and raw and easily hurt.
We failed a lot in reaching out to each other.
After a year or so, I think we both realized that we were committed to the relationship more than we both realized at first. Sure church was important (and it still was to my husband) but our relationship was also important and we were both willing to stick it out and wiling to work on it. We maybe didn’t agree with the others choices or decisions, but we realized we still deeply loved the other person and that was appearing to be enough.
Part way through all this we went on a trip together to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. We laughed about how it was our second honeymoon and the start of our new relationship.
Throughout the process we reached out for help in books, therapy and with coaches. We both felt the BEST help was from our coaches. It was key to our success. Now I am a certified coach who helps people in a mixed faith marriage.
There is help. There is a way through. It is good on the other side. Let’s talk and see how to help you navigate this season in your life.