Like so many of you, I was born and raised LDS and my family had all been LDS for generations. I loved being Mormon. It made me feel special. I was a serious student of religion and was very careful to be obedient and follow not just the spirit of the law, but also the letter of the law.
My motivation was that I really wanted to be happy and safe. I believed the world was a dangerous place and that the only way to be really happy was to follow the straight and narrow, so I did.
I earned all the recognitions, attended all the activities and kept all the rules.
When I was in my mid to late 30s I started to seriously wonder why I was not happy. I did everything right. I went to BYU, served a mission, married in the temple. My husband was bishop. I taught early morning seminary. I had four kids and stayed home with them. Where was the happiness? Why was I so discontent? Why did I kind of hate my life?
I started to consider going to back to work. I had earned my law degree before having my kids and had always wanted to pursue that (but told myself I should stay home with the kids).
I found a job and started working after 10 years of staying at home.
It was SUPER SCARY. There was so much guilt and shame and at the same time – DEFIANCE. I knew that how I was living my life was basically that quiet desperation kind of living and it had to end.
I loved working. I loved using my intellectual capacity beyond reinventing gospel topics and a lesson.
I started to see other areas where maybe the church wasn’t teaching things that ultimately helped me be “happy.”
I then had my feminist awakening and that changed EVERYTHING.
I had always considered myself a feminist or sorts. I was teaching institute at this time and I brought it up a handful of times in class. This landed me in a meeting with a member of the stake presidency who was concerned about this and he also discussed how I needed to focus the class more on the young men preparing for missions. This did not settle well with me and I was promptly released.
Eventually, I decided that the in order to be in integrity with myself and my values, I needed to step away from church.
It was really intense and scary and there were so many uncertainties, but I felt like it was the best decision for me.
I felt really good about my decision and that I was even led by God throughout the whole process. However, it was excruciating for my husband. He claims to have been blindsided and was deeply upset over my choice.
I knew that the church has served me well and at the same time felt hurt and betrayed. I would describe my relationship as bitter sweet with the church. I know it does no much good, and know it is not perfect too.
The marriage was another issues. Religion was interwoven into the fabric of my marriage. I was unsure of how to move forward.
It kind of felt like I had jumped from the frying pan in to the fire. The faith transition seems to have calmed down and I had clarity about my beliefs and now how to deal with the mixed faith marriage?
What about family, judgment, friends, family reunions, kids, temple weddings in 10 years, coffee, garments? I was paralyzed by it all.
Does this sound like you? Or your spouse?
I eventually figured out the mixed faith marriage thing. It took time, effort, love, and a few tears, but it worked!
I can say today my marriage is better than ever.
Next week I will tell you more how we navigate those waters.
In the meantime reach and and set up a call to talk with me. Coaching is a tool that works for mixed faith marriages. I offer a free call and we can go through a simple exercise to learn more about your mixed faith marriage.