Looking for perspective about inactive spouse


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Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the site. I'm a 30 year old female with a one-year old child. My husband has been inactive with pretty much no interest in the church for almost a year now. I was wondering if could get a male perspective on what it's like to attend church without a spouse. As a woman, I feel the lack of the priesthood in my home and going to church it's hard to see men sitting with their families and play an active role as a priesthood leader to their families. I wondered how a man might feel without his wife with him, since I mostly talk to women and have no idea how it is the other way around.

Also, for those who have been inactive, how did it affect you to see your family go to church without you? My husband acts like everything is fine, but it must bring up some feelings. I've asked him, but he pretty much won't say anything about it. I'm sure that it must somewhat be hard, especially in his case because he tried to get me to leave the church before. We were separated for a while because of that, but made an agreement not to force the church issue on each other (I'm giving him his space, he's alright with me going to church and taking our child). I feel like we are sort of living separate lives, but its hard to tell if he in anyway feels that. It makes me sad, yet he acts like it's fine. He does support me going to church and doesn't say anything negative about it, which is great.

So anything you could say that will help me gain some more perspective in this type of situation would be appreciated.

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I was inactive (would attend 10 times/year) for about 3 years. I had no problem with my wife attending without me. My mindset was,"If she wants to go, great." I did not feel bad about her attending by herself.

I will add that an inactive spouse is no excuse for no priesthood in the home. Do you have home teachers that visit you and will help you? If not ask the Bishop for some.

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When my wife is sick, i go myself, and at first it was a little weird, but then it became no big thing. I think its what you make of it. You might wonder at first why everyone else has their families together or whatever similar. I think that might be at first a personal apprehension about the whole thing, but after awhile it should get back to the focus that I am at church to lean and grow. And so all the other stuff wondering what others may say, or why is this happening should go away.

Like I said it only goes away if you really focus on the Lord. Then Iget more out of church and i go home and i am able to uplift at home for what my wife missed. I do have the blessing of being able to talk about things, but in your case you can act and practice what you learned or keep learning about it, or maybe even ask your husband if he knows. if he doesnt then let it be and try and call someone up and ask them. I think he would be intrigued by your desire to ask him, or calling someone to really learn. just a thought.

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Whats more important to you, bowing to social pressure that is spoken or felt or your husband?

The inevitable doomsayers always arrive when idealism rears its ugly head in these sort of situations. Even now, I bet someone is typing something about eternal rewards or commenting on the scandal that could arise from you daring to thwart the mass hysteria of believing that a spouse is only as good as their belief in the afterlife.

If you are happy with your relationship, then accept what is, don't nag, but patiently encourage and you will be rewarded with a change of heart, as will he. The carrot brings more lasting results than the stick ever did.

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. I wondered how a man might feel without his wife with him, since I mostly talk to women and have no idea how it is the other way around.

I went to church by myself but it was somewhat temporary because about 6 months after becoming inactive she filed divorce. So I spent more time going to church as a bachelor I suppose. The biggest problem is the courts love to give the kids to the mother, which means they (kids) rarely attend church because I rarely have them. My daughter is 10 and not baptized. To me that's a bigger problem than going to church alone.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My advice would be to directly ask men in the ward to invite him personally to events/activities and not give up on him, he may need a long time to respond how you/they would lik. I like the counsel once given by a GA's wife who said be the very best spouse you can. This good advice for any marriage partnership and invites a strong spiritual influence into the r/ship.

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Hi Huckleberrymojo,

I’m in a similar situation to you where my wife doesn’t want to or have any interest in being a part of the church. She is fine with me and the kids going but we’ve both agreed that church is not forced upon anyone because everyone has their choice. In saying this it isn’t easy going to church without her especially when the kids ask “why isn’t mummy coming with us”. My 10 yo is already starting to say if mum’s not coming then I’m not either but funnily my wife is the one to tell him to get ready and go.

I think she still has some spark in her about the church but right now she isn’t interested so I keep trying to do the right thing in hopes she will one day return. I don’t force her but just continue on. It is hard having to do everything at home church related but it is the right thing so I keep doing it.

I’m hoping your ward is not like mine where you get no support at all. I work away from home many weeks at a time and have asked Bishop/EQP/Home Teachers/Visiting Teachers to visit her often while I’m gone but no one comes. This has contributed to her reasons for not being active, and I will admit it does affect my own testimony and growth, but I know the church is the right place to be so I keep going despite the lack of leadership and support.

I read something a while back (not sure where it is from) that said ”if you look to the Lord and try and follow Him your heart will change and you will view your spouse as the Lord does; things may not improve but you and your relationship will be better”. So just keep being that example and things will get better for you.

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