Tuesday, January 05, 2010

An Interesting Encounter

Earlier today a young man entered my office seeking my advice…This is not unusual for someone in my line of business. But it is a rare day when someone comes to me, in my capacity as an apostate, seeking advice regarding of all subjects…religion…particularly the Mormon religion. But it happened today.

A bit of background:

Several years ago, during the same period of time that I was going through my enlightenment/apostasy, my daughter happened to be dating this same young man. To ease the pain of her father’s loss of belief in the one true church, my daughter poured her TBM heart out to this young man. Needless to say, he remembered that he had once dated the daughter of an apostate and came to me for some apostate advice. You see…he is now, a non believer too.

Flash forward to today, turns out this young Mormon man has fallen head over heels in love with a TBM girl. But as I said, he is anything but TBM. He was baptized …has struggled with wrapping his brain around the Mormon paradigm despite many attempts to do so, as a result did not go on the required mission. (How he dated my daughter I’ll never know) None of this however mattered until he started to date and fall in love with the TBM.

As he entered my office and even before he introduced himself he asked “Do you go to church?” with a smile on my face, I replied “Nope”. He then said, “Good I’m in the right place”.

Over the course of the next hour he poured out his heart about his relationship with this girl, explaining their love for each other and his unsuccessful attempt, at her insistence, to find a way to “believe”. She will not be married in any place other than a Temple built to the Mormon god.

He was aware from his discussions with my daughter, that I have been able to live a happy life with my very TBM wife and wanted to know HOW this was possible. He also wanted to know if faking belief for her sake would work. I shared the following advice with him.

01. I told him that faking belief was a recipe for disaster and would result in the ultimate destruction of his future marriage. That any marriage worth participation in must be built on a foundation of mutual respect for who each partner in the marriage really “IS” rather than on whom one partner wishes their spouse to be.

02. That he was fighting an uphill battle…that the Mormon Church would use all of its cultural influence to destroy his relationship and do everything it can to dissuade his girlfriend from engaging in a relationship with a non-believer. He confirmed that the” Mormon Machine “was already trying to undermine his relationship.

03. That for his relationship to work, his girlfriend must love him more than she loves the church…something that TBM’s are programmed from an early age not to do.

04. That if he can’t get his girlfriend to respect his right to his current worldview as much as she wants her own worldview to be respected…that the relationship is doomed.

05. I also confided in him, that I live everyday knowing that despite the love my wife and I share for each other…we both know that if my wife knew then what she knows now…she would have never agreed to marry me.

We also discussed the many reasons that Mormonism is not what it claims to be…and that a frontal attack on his girlfriends beliefs is futile. For there to be any hope for his relationship to work…both must compromise, respectful of each other’s beliefs (or lack thereof) and abandon all hope of ever dissuading the other.

Following our conversation, this young man…with a somewhat more sober understanding of his situation…thanked me for my candor. I offered to meet with both he and his girlfriend any time should he feel it beneficial. I wished him luck but added that he needs to be prepared for the worst. Thus is a the path of TBM/non-believer relationships…they rarely work out because of the inflexibility of TBM’s...I count my blessing everyday that so far I am an exception…

12 comments:

C. L. Hanson said...

This is an excellent post on an important topic. Would you be willing to cross-post it on Main Street Plaza? (With a link to the original post, of course.) We have a lot of readers who are in Mormon believer/unbeliever marriages who might have some interesting points to add.

Please email me (chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com) if you are OK with cross-posting it. Thanks!

Cr@ig said...

Be my guest...

Cr@ig

Anonymous said...

Greetings from the Deep South. I just discovered your blog and look forward to reading more of your past posts, as this one rings true with challenges I'm just starting to face. Thank you for sharing.

Natalie said...

Thanks so much for this blog. After mentally leaving the church 10 days ago, I have spent all night reading the articles and comments with fascination. How do you and your wife stay married?? Did you try to get her to leave?

My husband is totally TBM. I was not prepared for how difficult this would be to convince him of Joseph's fraud when the evidence is mounting. He is still looking though is 'spiritual eyes' or something.

I'm so sad at the thought of not having my cake and eating it too now that I'm leaving. Especially when being raised to think this life was a blip on the radar compared to our pre-existent and post-mortal lives. This may be it, no celestial glory {which only ever sounded more boring the my life in the church here on earth}.

I'm ready to take off the horrible 'sacred' underwear, and drink an occasional glass of wine or beer. I don't want to do it alone. And I don't want to brainwash our children either. Trying not to be frantic, we have a loving committed marriage by some miracle, since I now realize that we were crazy young to get married and we were just horny. I love him though, I honestly don't understand how you make this work if your partner refuses to go. And how do you respect him if he stays in the face of such proof? How do you reconcile his ignorance?

I know you don't want anonymous's -but I'm from Utah county and have not announced this. Was waiting for my husband to come with me since I didn't really want to play the role of Adam and Eve for the rest of my life unless it was in the bedroom.

Addie said...

Craig,
I agree with you that mormonism is wrong. I am trying to talk to a friend of mine who is a mormon. What do you believe in now that you arent a mormon?

Lost Faith New Hope said...

You sound like you have some great experience and advice. My wife and I were able to go through the process of leaving the church together. I don't know how you do it alone. Looking forward to reading more of your blog. We would really appreciate any contributions you may have to our new blog forum...

http://lostfaithnewhope.blogspot.com/

Thank you,
Lost Faith: New Hope

sarah said...

My husband and I are struggling with this right now because we both believed when we got married, then I "learned" about real church history 10 years into the marriage and now it is 20 years into the marriage. I don't believe anymore and he still does and we fight about it all the time.

Weston Krogstadt said...

Hello, Mormons rule, thank you.

Tom said...

I hope their love can weather the harsh bitter cold of truth. It's difficult for me even today to reconcile the way I talked and felt with what I already suspected of the church, even as a missionary.

I started a blog too, but exploring the weird, incredible things that happened to me in Japan.

http://sorryaboutthatjapan.wordpress.com

ben said...

I wonder why you people go to such great length to try and oppose the church. You know that all bad feeling are not of god. Emnity, or hate towards God and men is off the devil. I hope you guys will be able to realize this one day and be able to free yourself.

Cr@ig said...

Hi Ben,

Thanks for posting on my blog. I welcome your comments.

So when you say "you people" go to such length[s] and try and oppose the church...you flatter me and my tiny little blog too much. I seriously boubt that my blog postings has had any impact on the church or its mission...but it is and has been an outlet for me to express my frustrations with leaning that Mormonism is a false religion founded on lies. And remember your Sunday school lessons..."there must needs be opposition in all things"

With respect that hate or emnity os of the devil...come on Ben...the devil is a make believe construct of religion necessary as a tool of minipulation to guilt the believers into conformity...and it appears that Mormonisms use of it with you is working.

With respect to your hope that am someday able to free [my]self....Oh that day has already come and gone...freeing myself from the cognitive dissonance required to believe the truth claims of Mormonism...was the most amazingly freeing experience of my life...once I was able to free myself from Mormonism...I could honestly say that the truth had made me free.

Ben, I wish you the very best in life...and if Mormonism works for you, if you are truly able to beleive in the unbelievable...good on yeah mate...but your believing does not make it true

Mary Child said...

Wow, I just found your blog and realize that you may not even be posting anymore since you haven't posted since 2011 (bummer). Just wanted to say I have enjoyed what I read so far. Both my husband and I grew up LDS and have been active our entire marriage, but I recently began reading about Mormon history and have completely lost my faith.

While it was initially difficult to watch my life-long belief system crumble, I am lucky that my husband is pretty much on the same page I am. He agrees with me that if Joseph Smith was convicted of fraud in 1826, he couldn't possibly have been entrusted by God to restore "Christ's church in its fulness" four years later.

I don't recall the Church teaching that to me in Sunday School:
1820- Joseph has the First Vision
1823- Moroni appears to him
1826- Joseph convicted of disorderly conduct and being an imposter
1827- Joseph digs up the plates
1830- Organizes Christ's true Church

What is wrong with that timeline? God probably doesn't recruit thugs to handle his most important work among mortal men, and oh yeah, as you pointed out in your most recent post, Joseph Smith made the whole thing up!


Joe Smith was a total con artist, and it has been difficult to realize that I wasted so many years of my life wearing garments and passing up tank tops...

On the bright side, I think my husband won't be very far behind me as I leave the "Mormon" part of my life behind.

I enjoyed your comment, "Come on Ben, the devil is a make-believe construct of religion, necessary as a tool of manipulation to guilt the believers into conformity..."

YEP, that's right.

And I couldn't agree more, that leaving Mormonism has been the most freeing experience of my life.

And Ben's continued believing does not make it true!!!

Love your blog! Thanks!