To Resign or Not Resign

Sometimes when a spouse steps away from the church this can take many forms.

There is no one way. Here a just a few options:

  • still attend, just don’t believe in the doctrine or certain tenants

  • stop attending but leave names on records of the church

  • formal resignation (have name removed from records of the church)

There is no right way to step away from church. For some the choice to resign is best for their mental and emotional health. For others it doesn’t matter at all if their name is still on the records. Everyone is unique.

Here we are going to talk about when a spouse decides to resign and some of the common issues that arise.

Each couple has its own reactions and issues – here we will discuss some things I have seen come up with myself and my clients around resignation.

Resignation can be very sad and challenging for the believing spouse. It seems like their goal of an eternal family is not obtainable. It may feel like the hope that their spouse my come back in now dead.

For the spouse seeking resignation there is often a great deal of concern about their spouse’s reaction and extended family’s reaction. They have lost their church community, will they now loose their family community and marriage community as well? There can be concerns about the children and lessons that their mom or dad is not righteous  or as good as their other parent.

This is can be set up for a lot of drama and a lot of stress.

Here are a few things to practice and consider:

  • Every problem has a solution. This is one of my favorite sayings. When up to our eyeballs in stress and fear we forget this. We think we are the exception. We think this problem does NOT have a solution and that is where we are wrong. I am trained as an attorney and have practices commercial litigation for years. When I was new I would get a case and think – this is a looser, we can’t win. My boss would always say – there is a solution here – and he was right. There was always a solution to the most daunting legal pickle AND there is a solution in your mixed faith marriage. Just like with each case, it may take some work, and getting some help, and getting some advice from a more seasoned attorney,  but there is always a solution – always. Are you willing to believe there is a solution and keep looking for it, or are you going to throw in the towel ?

  • Other people’s experiences and stories are not our own. Unfortunately there are many terrible stories about mixd faith marriages and how they are terrible and full of suffering and unhappy spouses. THIS IS NOT THE CASE FOR ALL MIXED FAITH MARRIAGES. There are many non mixed faith marriages that fit this description as well. There are mixed faith marriages that work beautifully and raise wonderful kids. Can you believe that? Does it feel possible? If you practice believing that you will feel better and you will create a better mixed faith marriage.

  • Fear is a terrible decision maker. Fear is a terrible driver. It speeds and drives on the shoulder and often just ends up in the ditch. LOVE is a much better driver. It never speeds, and always gets you where you want to go.

If you are facing resignation or your spouse is considering resignation and you are freaking out. Its probably a good idea to get some coaching. Reach out and let’s talk and see if coaching will help you and your marriage.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT WORKING WITH ME

Talk to you soon,

Brooke Booth, JD
Certified Life Coach

Parent’s Worst Fear

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:

  1. 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).

  1. 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
BrookeBoothCoaching.com
mormoncouples.com@gmail.com

Home Study Course

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. 

Fear Based Decisions

I am so afraid so often. I am afraid of my husband being done with me and my faith transition. I am afraid of my family rejecting me. I am afraid of the ward making me a project. I am afraid of being wrong and doing all this for nothing. I am afraid of making changes and how they will impact my family, especially my kids. So much fear.

I am also committed to my integrity, brave and willing. I am willing to do what I think is right and best for me. I am courageous and willing to make changes and have difficult conversations. I am wiling to still look others in the eye and be a little different from what most would expect or want from me. I am willing to wear clothes that feel good on my body even if others do not approve. I am willing to tell my kids that church is good and that no church is good. I am wiling to let my husband believe what he wants and not make it mean he is wrong or I am wrong or that something is wrong with our marriage.

I am both afraid and brave at the same time. I guess that makes me human.

I can’t make the fear go away it may always be there (remember the human part), but I can keep my life moving forward with willingness and bravery.

Do you want to learn how to be afraid and still willing? Coaching is all about accepting that there is fear and still making the decisions, still showing up out of love, courage and willingness.

Let me teach you how. Trying to make the fear go away is like taking away your humanness. Good luck. Figuring out how to have a great life and experience fear – that is much more manageable.

CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A FREE CALL WITH BROOKE

Talk to you soon,

Brooke Booth, JD
Certified Life Coach
BrookeBoothCoaching.com
mormoncouples.com@gmail.com

How to deal with your spouse teaching or talking about things that you do not agree with?

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:

  1. 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.

  2. Kids are smart and they get to make their own decisions anyway (just like I did).

  3. 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.

CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A FREE CALL WITH BROOKE

Talk to you soon,

Brooke Booth, JD
Certified Life Coach
BrookeBoothCoaching.com
mormoncouples.com@gmail.com

Afraid of what others will think?

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.

  1. You don’t want others to know about your faith transition or  your spouse’s faith transition.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A FREE CALL WITH BROOKE

Talk to you soon,

Brooke Booth, JD
Certified Life Coach
BrookeBoothCoaching.com
mormoncouples.com@gmail.com

What to do if your marriage has been neglected?

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 

  1. 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. 

  2. 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.  

  3. 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. 

This process is a process. Learning how to really nurture your marriage does not happen overnight or in a week. You might even need some help . Someone to help you see where you may be falling into old patterns or forgetting your reason why. 

A coach can help with that and so much more. 

How to influence you spouse  (It’s not what  you think)

In your marriages you may find you want to be able to influence your spouse. To be a someone they listen to and respect and whose opinion they consider.

When I say influence I do not mean manipulate. I mean being able to create an environment where you welcome sharing, openness and safety.

My husband has expressed his concern over this. He has been frustrated that I listen to my mom, my sisters and not so much to him  (especially regarding my faith transition).

If you are trying to influence your spouse or have had similar frustrations  there is a sure fire way to close off our ability to influence.

We close off our influential abilities when we convince, judge, or become defensive.

It closes the influence door so fast.

Let me explain.

Consider their point of view – If someone feels like their spouse isn’t listening to them, getting them, doesn’t like them and their choices, or only becomes defensive when they try to have an honest conversation, that often prevents them from wanting to share and receive influence and ideas.  It may cause them to run and hide and find someone else to talk to.

The best way to create influence in your marriage is to be open, willing to listen, and allow then to be who they are without judgment.

When someone feels fully appreciated and seen, it is the natural response to listen and be influenced.

Feelings of curiosity and interest can help develop this type of influence. When we are genuinely curious about our spouse and their experience and feelings and thoughts, we create what I call a “safe space” for them to open up and share.

I know first hand that a mixed faith marriage often seems to stop certain conversations. They just don’t feel safe. You may think, we just can’t talk about religion. We just don’t go there. That is often a sign that you do not feel safe talking about certain things (like religion, etc). I think we often feel that way because of our own lack of curiosity and interest we have about our own partner.

We may think – “I already know how they are going to react. I already know what they are going to say.”

That is a sure sign you are not gong to be able to influence them or be influenced by them.

If you think they are not accepting your influence I guarantee it goes both ways.

If you want to be able to influence your spouse you may need to change things completely. Reach out and let’s see if coaching is the tool you need.

CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A FREE CALL WITH BROOKE

Talk to you soon,

Brooke Booth, JD
Certified Life Coach
BrookeBoothCoaching.com
mormoncouples.com@gmail.com

Connection after Disconnection

Here is what happened.

We were disconnected all week. Something was off.

I was pretty sure he hated me and I was not happy with me or this marriage. Almost positive it had to do with his upset over being in a MFM.

I eventually decided to be brave. I opened a conversation and asked to talk . It went poorly. We were both defensive. We were both short. We were both frustrated. I would walk away and turn away. I kept turning back towards him (physically and symbolically). I asked more questions. I leaned in. I listened. I decided to not be deterred.

It turns out he was frustrated about the house. (It is a huge project.)

All week I was taking his frustration personally. Then I was frustrated too.

It wasn’t about me. I had been telling myself a lie all week.

Here is the part that gets me every time. I had to really walk into discomfort to get to connection. So often this is the case. I had to be willing to lean in, ask questions, keep turning back around, listen and let go of my defensiveness.

Often times the conversions that are the most uncomfortable end in the best place.

It is a skill set to lean in, keep asking and to turn back over and over and over. You can develop this skill. You can change your relationship patterns. Let’s talk. Schedule a free consultation to see if coaching is what you need to strengthen your marriage.

CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A FREE CALL WITH BROOKE

Talk to you soon,

Brooke Booth, JD
Certified Life Coach
BrookeBoothCoaching.com
mormoncouples.com@gmail.com