At what point do you "defend" your faith with an inactive spouse?


momof72013

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Ok. In a nutshell. I am married to an inactive spouse. We were both baptized a week apart from each other, but were never sealed in the temple due to his priesthood being put on hold because of his "unworthiness". His unworthiness list ranges from using "legal Marijuana" to constant pornography addictions. [moderator edit]

I maintain my domestic house pretty well conflict free most of the time. I try to be as sweet and submissive as I can while still remaining worthy, however tonight was an exception. We all sat down for dinner and I have been so excited to introduce my FHE printouts to the kids. I review them and teach them over dinner. I didn't think this would be a problem since my husband has been overall supportive with me becoming active again. He will attend sacrament service ONLY and then leaves and comes back to pick us up after church is over. He has told me he does not believe the church is true anymore, however will support me. So we have been doing this arrangment for weeks and it actually has been working quite nicely.

Well tonight as I was going through my lesson, he hops up and starts tickling my four year old. I ask him to please encourage a spirit of "reverence" with the children by example and then he quickly walked out of the room and came back and started cleaning. I should have known better than to even ask him anything, but since things have been going SO well and conflict free; I was shocked. I asked him to please wait to clean until after my lesson and he just went off. He started mocking the phrophets and using profanity in direct regard to the church.

My kids are sitting there watching this whole thing. I told him if he was going to say those things, I would have to ask him to leave and then he started verbally attacking me. I had to verbally attack him back (because if he thinks your going to be passive, he will do it more; long long story( and finally I told him I was going to call the police if he didn't stop. He left; kids were crying and the whole thing was a disaster. He will probably stay gone all night and I will probably take the kids to church tomorrow by myself.

:shout:

Edited by skippy740
removed graphic details.
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First, welcome to LDS.net.

Please review the following link in regards to graphic content in posts:

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So the lesson didn't go as well as YOU wanted. "FHE is the only family fight that starts and ends with prayer."

I'd recommend to count your blessings. How many 4-year-olds do you know that can be still during an entire Sunday School hour? Not many. I hope your FHE lessons are quick to adapt to the 4-year-old's attention span. (And yes, you can call your husband the 4-year-old if you want).

He may have started the tickling, but you "shamed" your husband in front of your kids by saying that he wasn't being a good example. You attacked his position in the house first. Is that being a good "submissive" and supportive wife?

I would've walked out too.

My recommendations: Keep your lessons SHORT - more like a missionary's spiritual thought - instead of a full blown lesson. The advantage is that it'll be short (1-2 minutes max) and you can do MORE of them. Even kids can listen for 1-2 minutes every day.

Edited by skippy740
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Mind you this is just my opinion. When I think of dinner with family I think of having fun as a family. Being able to laugh and talk about what's going on and just kind of let loose a bit. I don't see it as a time of reverence having a FHE lesson.

While perhaps he doesn't have a problem with FHE lessons, maybe the timing of when it's done is the problem.

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Fun stuff first, concerning stuff 3rd!

1) Just like with intimate relations... Some things are best discussed when NOT happening at present.

Like any kind of parenting that isn't risking life and limb to table until the kids are in bed.

2) I homeschooled for many years. One thing I'd periodically do is write "We've got time" on one hand & "We'll do this again" on the other. The thing is... I'd get so caught up in wanting to do EVERYTHING... That I'd forget we would be covering the Civil War now at age 6, and again at age 10, and again at age 14. I didn't HAVE to teach everything everything everything, perfect, now, shazam! This flows into spiritual teaching the exact same way. No matter WHAT the lesson is... It will be taught again. And again. And again. Many times, and in many ways. Is it disappointing & stressful when you have a Magic Schoolbus PERFECT lesson to teach & ???

- kids get sick

- kids declare war on your patience

- Kids get so excited about something entirely different that you have to replan your whole (day/week/month) to take advantage of the Dreaded & Hateful subject finally being Sparkly & Wowza after you'd given up all hope.

- Inlaws drop by to interrupt & criticize what you're not doing because they're there interrupting

- Inlaws drop by with movie tickets and awesomeness

- Marital "conversations"

- a rabid case of the "silly-s" or giggles descends

- Spouse calls having locked themselves out of the car 2 hours away, and apparently is unable to call AAA, but expects you to drop everything and bring the spare key, killing 4 hours of your day a they don't have to take 15-30 minutes out of their day (and then complains the house is a mess when they do get home ; )

- Spouse surprises you with a fun filled day trip

Point being... Both awful & fantastic things will happen that totally throw your plans for the day under the bus.

Which gets stressful.

And disappointing.

And, even as an old hand (but ESP when things are new!) there is a tendency for most to kind of wig out. To make a really big deal over something that can be rolled with, taken advantage of, or otherwise ignore.

Otherwise known as.... Yep. Things went sideways tonight.

That happens.

Don't stress about it.

Seriously.

You'll do this again.

You have time.

3) Okay... Now this is the part that really concerns me... As I came out of an abusive marriage.

Which also means I get touchy about these things:

I couldn't care less that it was FHE/ about the prophets/ etc.

The sheer level of disrespect shown YOU (about anything you find to be important in your life, as an individual, and reasoning person), in front of your kids, and to the degree that you had to,respond in kind and finally threaten police action.... Has me concerned.

Non-abusive marriages have blowups, too.

I'm not saying your marriage is abusive.

I am, however, concerned about the level that this rose to, tonight... And whether or not this is a consistent pattern.

Remove ALL the LDS stuff, and it's still completely unacceptable.

Were there 2 parts played?

In the beginning, absolutely.

As pointed out, shaming your spouse in front of their kids usually goes badly.

That doesn't justify a screaming swearing temper tantrum that rises to the level of needing police involvement.

With self control so far out the window, that its happening in front of your kids, and finally results in one of you having to leave overnight (or longer).

Which leads into ...

4) If this is any kind of normal, I really suggest counseling.

EITHER if this is normal across the board, or normal in regards to church stuff.

Normal across the board really suggests anger management & codependency issues at the least.

Normal for church stuff is "just" some help transitioning so that you BOTH can feel respected, and in redefining some new lines in your marriage. Adding a religion is a HUGE (potential) hurdle in a marriage... And it needs to be handled carefully so that NEITHER person is feeling hurt, disrespected, unvalued, etc. It's reeeeeeeeally easy for the person with the "new" in their life to be unwittingly hurting their partner over and over again, and be completely oblivious to it. Resulting in dust ups and blow outs. And it's reeeeeally easy for the person without the new to be sabotaging or disrespectful while being completely oblivious as to the substance of their actions and their effect on their spouse feeling undermined and unsupported.

IT COULD BE NEITHER, and this is/was just a one time thing/ bad night.

Those happen.

We all act out of character from time to time.

I don't know either of you.

It just pings my sonar / makes me concerned when a disagreement turns into a Big Deal so hard and so fast.

Q

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momof72013, welcome to the forum.

In my non-LDS opinion, I didn't think that FHE had to be treated like church. It's set apart for family time, why would you need to be reverent during family time? And I'm curious why you refer to your children as your (my) children and not our (you and your husband's) children. This may not be helpful to you but I was just curious. I think your best course right now is to have a one on one talk with your husband without the children present.

M.

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When you post asking advice on the internet.. you are basically asking total strangers to fill in the gaps of what ever information you give them (because you simply can't give them the full information) as they try to understand your situation and then give advice based on their own experience and how it interacts with what they presume that you have experienced.

So you need to understand that any and all advice here is limited and take what you can use and ignore the rest. That includes the advice I am about to give.

I think you are asking the wrong question. It is not about 'defending' your faith to your inactive spouse. Its about why your spouse went from being ok with it to not. Its been my experience that people don't just change there acceptance of a religion over night for no reason. Since nothing in your post suggest that he suddenly was came across anti-material or the like, I am instead going to presume that the religious aspect of this issue are just the outer shell that have brought to the surface a more fundamental problem in your marriage.

I think what you really have here is a spouse that is feeling neglected, and unimportant to you. To try to explain this I will spin up a possibility of how his is responding to things. You two dated, he fell in love with you exactly the way you were. You get married, you have kids together, and then you feel drawn back to religion and god. While God is happy and you are happy and the members of this forum are happy for your changes, your husband sees the woman he loves changing into someone different. But he loves you and wants you to be happy so he tries to be supportive and gives you what you want. But he doesn't really see any advantage in this for him. He might even be seeing the woman he fell in love with disappearing (or at least be thinking that on some level)

It is very likely that he feels that he has given up alot to support you in this and feels he has gotten nothing back. Human nature is that if we start feeling that way we are going to start feeling cranky and building up of resentment. This all builds up to the the Family Home Evening. He is playing with his kids and he gets what you describe as an uncharacteristic rebuke from you (aka Change) and you demand even more from him. This triggers the resentment to come boiling forth. Leading to the events that caused you to post here.

In this case the answer is simple its not the religion that is the problems its the feelings of neglect... When was the last time you showed him how important he was to you? Not in a way you think he should just 'get' but in a way you absolutely know he understands? When was the last time you acknowledged that you have dragged him down a path he wasn't interested in going. That you know he did it just for you and you are grateful to him for it? Again in a way you know he understand not in away you assume he gets. If it has been been awhile (or never) then chances are its been to long and you need to do so really soon.

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Ok. In a nutshell. I am married to an inactive spouse. We were both baptized a week apart from each other, but were never sealed in the temple due to his priesthood being put on hold because of his "unworthiness". His unworthiness list ranges from using "legal Marijuana" to constant pornography addictions. [moderator edit]

I maintain my domestic house pretty well conflict free most of the time. I try to be as sweet and submissive as I can while still remaining worthy, however tonight was an exception. We all sat down for dinner and I have been so excited to introduce my FHE printouts to the kids. I review them and teach them over dinner. I didn't think this would be a problem since my husband has been overall supportive with me becoming active again. He will attend sacrament service ONLY and then leaves and comes back to pick us up after church is over. He has told me he does not believe the church is true anymore, however will support me. So we have been doing this arrangment for weeks and it actually has been working quite nicely.

Well tonight as I was going through my lesson, he hops up and starts tickling my four year old. I ask him to please encourage a spirit of "reverence" with the children by example and then he quickly walked out of the room and came back and started cleaning. I should have known better than to even ask him anything, but since things have been going SO well and conflict free; I was shocked. I asked him to please wait to clean until after my lesson and he just went off. He started mocking the phrophets and using profanity in direct regard to the church.

My kids are sitting there watching this whole thing. I told him if he was going to say those things, I would have to ask him to leave and then he started verbally attacking me. I had to verbally attack him back (because if he thinks your going to be passive, he will do it more; long long story( and finally I told him I was going to call the police if he didn't stop. He left; kids were crying and the whole thing was a disaster. He will probably stay gone all night and I will probably take the kids to church tomorrow by myself.

:shout:

I am not understanding "I had to verbally attack him back". If he was doing something inappropriate or abusive, why is it appropriate or helpful for you to do the same?

Why exactly did you threaten to call the police? Because of his "verbal attack"? You readily admit to engaging in the same behavior. Would it have been okay for him to threaten the same?

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I am not understanding "I had to verbally attack him back". If he was doing something inappropriate or abusive, why is it appropriate or helpful for you to do the same?

Why exactly did you threaten to call the police? Because of his "verbal attack"? You readily admit to engaging in the same behavior. Would it have been okay for him to threaten the same?

My verbal attack did not consist of what his did; which is the profanity and the insulting to something I hold very sacred which is my faith.

When I say verbally attacked; I "defended" my faith with the same enthusiasm that he attacked me with MINUS the namecalling and profanity!

Furthermore, it is SO damaging for children to witness a parent regardless of the circumstance of emotion surrounding the event (i.e. dad called mom a B because she "attacked" him) verbally attacking another parent they love (because children do not have the ability to think that abstractly at the age that mine are). And that is why I threatened to call the police; they are minors in my care; from a secular legal standpoint; and aside from my spiritual duties, I am legally responsible to protect them. THis is NOT limited to physical violence; but verbal and emotion ones like the one I listed here.

As for me using "my" children verses "our" it's not personal to how I internally view the custody of my children; meaning I don't just think they are mine or vice versa; it's probably just me being lazy with my grammar.

Excuse.

So I hope this clarifies.

FYI: I know it was mentioned earlier about why my marriage "goes" to this point...This has been and on and off pattern for years. Obviously, the older I have gotten, the better I have learned to deal with these situations; however my husband for the most part is very erratic and unstable especially when upset. I am not a doctor so I cannot say for sure if he has an emotional disorder, although friends and family in my community do suspect it. Instead of walking on eggshells, I have learned how to appropriately incorporate "boundaries" in my life and have had bishops and stake presidents help me do that during my times of activity. That is why he resents the church to some degree.

There's more I can say, but I'm tired :).

Thanks everyone for the advice.

Good night!

thread stated

Edited by momof72013
left out important information
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I am not understanding "I had to verbally attack him back". If he was doing something inappropriate or abusive, why is it appropriate or helpful for you to do the same?

Why exactly did you threaten to call the police? Because of his "verbal attack"? You readily admit to engaging in the same behavior. Would it have been okay for him to threaten the same?

And DEFINITELY OK for him to do the same. He actually has called the police on me for yelling in years past; (WANT TO CLARIFY THIS WAS 9 YEARS AGO) and I'm glad he did. Because out of control people that yell ESPECIALLY IN FRONT of children need intervention. I'm glad he did. I thank God that law enforcement has NOT been a part of our life now for 5 plus years...

I guess that's why I came here and wrote the post. I was just so shocked that things went the way that it did considering things have been "better" than what they use to be for years. Like literally; SO shocked LOL.

Looking back now it was really kind of weird. And I want to thank everyone who says I shouldn't rebuke my husband in front of my kids. That is right. I won't be doing that anymore. During me reading the responses, I really felt the spirit confirm that I really need to show respect more to my husband especailly in front of the children!!:clap::clap:

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And DEFINITELY OK for him to do the same. He actually has called the police on me for yelling in years past; (WANT TO CLARIFY THIS WAS 9 YEARS AGO) and I'm glad he did. Because out of control people that yell ESPECIALLY IN FRONT of children need intervention. I'm glad he did. I thank God that law enforcement has NOT been a part of our life now for 5 plus years...

I guess that's why I came here and wrote the post. I was just so shocked that things went the way that it did considering things have been "better" than what they use to be for years. Like literally; SO shocked LOL.

Looking back now it was really kind of weird. And I want to thank everyone who says I shouldn't rebuke my husband in front of my kids. That is right. I won't be doing that anymore. During me reading the responses, I really felt the spirit confirm that I really need to show respect more to my husband especailly in front of the children!!:clap::clap:

I commend you for recognizing your role. That's a big step sometimes when there are arguments in a marriage.

As Estradling said we only have one side and only a partial view of the event.

Without the whole picture I'd like to point out that your husband played a part in this too. He chose to get angry and let it escalate in front of the children.

Find a calm place to talk about religion with your husband. In your first post the word "submissive" sort of rubbed me wrong. We are only to be submissive to our husband's when they are being submissive to the Lord. You are the only one here in the middle of this marriage. Only you can decide the best way to resolve the issues.

This is a great place to vent and sometimes see things from a different perspective. I don't think this is about defending faith. Its about an interpersonal relationship and religion seems to be the spark that sets off the fire....at least right now.

I wish you all the best in resolving the issues with your husband.

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My verbal attack did not consist of what his did; which is the profanity and the insulting to something I hold very sacred which is my faith.

When I say verbally attacked; I "defended" my faith with the same enthusiasm that he attacked me with MINUS the namecalling and profanity!

Furthermore, it is SO damaging for children to witness a parent regardless of the circumstance of emotion surrounding the event (i.e. dad called mom a B because she "attacked" him) verbally attacking another parent they love (because children do not have the ability to think that abstractly at the age that mine are). And that is why I threatened to call the police; they are minors in my care; from a secular legal standpoint; and aside from my spiritual duties, I am legally responsible to protect them. THis is NOT limited to physical violence; but verbal and emotion ones like the one I listed here.

As for me using "my" children verses "our" it's not personal to how I internally view the custody of my children; meaning I don't just think they are mine or vice versa; it's probably just me being lazy with my grammar.

Excuse.

So I hope this clarifies.

FYI: I know it was mentioned earlier about why my marriage "goes" to this point...This has been and on and off pattern for years. Obviously, the older I have gotten, the better I have learned to deal with these situations; however my husband for the most part is very erratic and unstable especially when upset. I am not a doctor so I cannot say for sure if he has an emotional disorder, although friends and family in my community do suspect it. Instead of walking on eggshells, I have learned how to appropriately incorporate "boundaries" in my life and have had bishops and stake presidents help me do that during my times of activity. That is why he resents the church to some degree.

There's more I can say, but I'm tired :).

Thanks everyone for the advice.

Good night!

thread stated

Perhaps an alternative to calling the police during a verbal argument would be to disengage and walk away. Using your own words, your children saw BOTH parents engaging in a verbal attack. You could have spared your children half of that by not attacking yourself.

Sometimes it is appropriate and necessary to call the police. Some people use it as an inappropriate threat. Just be sure that you are ready to accept the consequences of that threat should you follow through on it. They might be different than what you were hoping for.

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