The worst fear of many parents is that their kids leave the church. It is sometimes the case in a mixed faith marriage that the kids “follow” the transitioning spouse out of the church. Thereby realizing their other parents worst fear.
I have seen (like in my own home) a sort of tug of war to win the hearts and minds of the kids – to convince them that one side is right and the other is wrong. It kind of has the feel of trying to court votes. This sometimes leads to courting and not parenting.
So what to do so you don’t end up in a win – loose situation. A situation where you win if the kids follow you (but your spouse looses) or vice versa.
My mom (mother of 9 kids) would often tell me (when I came to her complaining of a wrong done by one of my sibling to me) “ It takes two to make a fight”. This is good advice here.
It takes two to play tug of war. It takes two to have a win/loose situation. It takes two to debate.
Here are a two tips to help you put down the boxing gloves about the kids:
The kids get to make their own decisions. You or your spouse are not making their decisions. You can suggest, advise. threaten, berate, but they get to decide what to believe. I don’t care what age they are, this is their choice. Yes, I realize younger kids tend to just believe what you tell them, but developmentally that has a time frame that expires. Ultimately at the end of the day Your kids KNOW there are choices when it comes to faith and belief (their parents are showing them that in real time).
This is not about the kids. The kids sometimes become a symbol of what is going on internally with the parents. We as parents want another to validate our own decision (to stay or leave) and when we see the kids choose one or the other we feel validated in our own decision. Let the kids be who they are and the parents need to learn how to have their own backs regarding their own decisions.
Are you trying to figure this out? Need a little support? Or a lot? Click here to learn more about working with me: https://brookeboothcoaching.com/work-with-brooke/
Talk to you soon,
Brooke Booth, JD
Certified Life Coach
Maybe you have been in a mixed faith marriage for a while, maybe it is brand new territory, in either case I have something to HELP you in a significant way.
I have been working with one on one and in groups with clients for a while; coaching and helping them with their mixed faith marriages. I love this work. I love seeing clients transform their marriages and relationships for the better. I love seeing people create amazing things in their lives and in their families – amazing things like more love, stronger relationships, successful difficult conversations, connection, and respect.
I know not everyone is interested or in a position to hire a coach to work through their Mormon mixed faith marriage.
To be clear I think having a coach is the best way to get results and strengthen your mixed faith marriage. I also get that it just isn’t what works in every situation.
With that in mind, I want to tell you about my new home study course. A way you can strengthen your mixed faith marriage under the guidance of a program that takes you step by step through the tools that WORK.
This home study course was designed specifically for Mormons in a mixed faith marriages and it specifically addresses those circumstances unique to a mixed faith marriage. It addresses topics like enteral families, temple, baptism, garments, tithing and on and on.
This program is the result of the lessons learned from my own mixed faith marriage, that of my many clients, and also includes powerful coaching tools. I like to think of it a shortcut to the very best and most helpful tools and teaching you need to be successful in your Mormon Mixed faith marriage.
Here is a sampling of some of the things you will learn:
-How to create connection even when you may not be on the “same page” when it comes to religion.
-How to communicate about hard things.
-How to process loss and grief about what has passed.
-How to get past anger, fear and betrayal.
-How to forgive and love without conditions.
-How to set boundaries.
-How to respect each other even if you don’t agree with each other.
-How to build a new relationship that has room for two different belief systems.
-How to create new rituals ad tradition to super tyro mixed faith marriage.
Go to – https://brookeboothcoaching.com/strengthen-your-mixed-faith-marriage-course/ to get your course today. I will send you a hard copy in the mail, but you all get immediate access upon purchase if you just can’t wait.
Your marriage is worth it. You are worth it.
This usually comes up in the context of teaching about gospel topic such as the law of chastity, modesty, priesthood, leadership, authority, obedience, one true church, history (really I could go on and on). I have also seen it arise over whether one spouse wants a child to participate at all in church activities or in a youth program.
Full confession, this happens a lot in our house.
My husband has difference political, social, and religious views than me so we get to have this come up in many fronts.
I realized recently that one thing that tends to get me acting defensive, attacking or even just feeling annoyed is when I think my husband is confusing the kids. Which is the same as saying – I don’t like how he is teaching them or what he is teaching them. When I think this I jump in right then and there and counter what ever he is saying. It’s not helpful (at all).
When I find myself in that space where I wish he would just shut up or I am tempted to start pontificating – here is what I do instead.
I have to have a little conversation with myself that goes something like this.
You are annoyed because you think he is going to confuse the kids. You think they are going to one day disagree with your choice to step away from church. You think that they will walk the same path of frustration and conforming you did and unnecessarily. Or maybe you are afraid you might be wrong here and they will be confused or make choices that may be challenging for them and you.
Take a deep breath. He is their father and gets to teach his kids what ever he wants. I get to teach them what ever I want too. But right now it’s his teaching/interacting time and not mine. I have plenty of opportunities to interact and share my ideas and opinions.
I wouldn’t want him to counter everything I say to them and I can give him that same gift. Even if he does counter what I say, that is not how I want to show up in this marriage and in this family. I do not want to create a him versus me dynamic here. The kids are not choosing his philosophy or mine, they are choosing their own.
I want my kids to develop their capacity to think critically. I want them to make choices from a place of empowerment and consent. That means, I want my kids to have lots of view points presented to them. I want them to think and make their own decisions and they can’t do that without hearing several viewpoints and knowing they can choose for themselves without any repercussions from me.
This type of conversation with myself. It helps me calm down and often prevents me from sabotaging an otherwise enjoyable evening with my family.
Let me point out the key aspects of my little chat with myself -that you can use when creating your own little chat with yourself, tailored to you and your issues:
We both get to teach whatever we want to teach the kids. We are both adults who have that autonomy. I do not want mine hedged and I don’t want to hedge him.
Kids are smart and they get to make their own decisions anyway (just like I did).
I honestly answer this question – How do I want to show up in this marriage? It’s not as someone who is petty or tit for tat, I want to be supportive and generous. I would rather be happy then right in this regard.
Talk to you soon,
Brooke Booth, JD
Certified Life Coach
My ancestors are pioneers. We are talking about covered wagons traveling from Far West to Salt Lake City. My extended family are all members. We are taking the kind of family where books about our genealogy are regularly discussed and handed out. Conversation are around callings, temple work, and girls camp dates.
My social community is primarily LDS. My friends are primarily LDS. Basically my whole life is saturated in everything LDS.
When a faith transition comes along (yours or your spouse’s), it is scary for a lot of reasons, but one fear can be – what others will think! Your family, your community, your long gone ancestors? What will they think of your family that is no longer “perfect”? What will change? Can you handle it? What will happen to your standing in the church? in your community? in your family?
I don’t know what will happen. You don’t know what will happen. It’s a mystery. But I do know that letting FEAR make decisions and guide your life has serious drawbacks.
When we make decisions out of fear we disallow other’s kindness, goodness and generosity. When in fear, we assume others will be unkind or lack understanding.
When we make decisions out of fear we are assuming the worst of ourselves and of others. And then that is what we often find because that is what we are looking for. Our brain (cognitive bias) will prove it true.
When we make decisions out of fear we often discount what we want or what our desires are and try to make others comfortable at our own expense. (This usually leads to resentment).
When we make decisions out of fear we are not fully honest with ourselves and with others and this can undermine our relationships.
Here are three indicators that fear is in the drivers seat of your mixed faith marriage or in your interactions with your extended family.
You don’t want others to know about your faith transition or your spouse’s faith transition.
You are sure that whatever happens it will not be good or easy or helpful. You wish things could just go back to how they were.
You are more concerned about not upsetting others, a way of life, or an expectation then about being honest and in integrity with yourself and with others( people pleasing is a form of lying).
If fear in making a lot of decisions in your life, I would suggest working with me. I work with clients to recognize where fear is in charge and changing that so you can operate out of love. We often just need a little help seeing what is gong on. Let’s talk.
Talk to you soon,
Brooke Booth, JD
Certified Life Coach
There was a time when we were so busy strengthening our family we forget to strengthen our marriage. The two are not always synonymous.
When my faith transition hit, we had been married for around 15 years. We had been very active in church and very active building our family (FHE, trips, activities, etc).
We had not been so diligent about building our marriage. If you looked at how we spent our time and money it would be at the bottom or pretty close.
Maybe you are super busy and focused on school, career, kids church callings and haven’t spent the time and energy on your marriage.
This was 100% true for me and my spouse.
How to really start nurturing your marriage? How to build a marriage along with a family?
The patterns of neglecting your marriage can be hard to change You or your spouse may question or think –
Is this for real? Is this just temporary? This won’t last? You just want something from me.
3 tips to consider when you want to start nurturing your marriage
Be ok if they don’t believe you. Of course they are skeptical – you probably are too. Let them get familiar with the new way you are choosing so show up in your marriage. We sometimes resist change even if its good and we’ve wanted it for a long time.
Remember the 5:1 ratio. For every negative interaction you try to have 5 positive ones. Maybe right now your ratio is 1:5. You can change your ratio. The process means you fail A LOT until you succeed and that is OK. Failure is part of any worthy success story.
Know your WHY. If you don’t remind yourself of your WHY you will give up at after some push back. What is your WHY? – Because you really love your spouse – because you want to change things, because you are 100% committed to this? You get to decide. Keep reminding yourself.