If you left the Church, either in the past or currently. . .


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Between age 13 to 19 i were an inactive member. I both distanced myself to members/friends/family, but also some members/friends would distance themself to me. If i would walk past anyone i knew, i would greet in passing, but some members would walk by like i did not exist. They were few though in comparison to those that always were open and friendly towards me. Those people, looking back, made a bigger difference than i thought they did at the time.


I did not really give reason to my family or anyone either, it was more of a rebellion against everything. It was a pretty wild and dark time in my life. So when it came to being around other members, i just felt it would be better if i stayed away. Both because i could not deal with the pressure of people wanting me to return to church at that time, but also because i might have dragged others down. I were living quite recklessly, and somehow alcohol, drugs, and what comes with it.. it did not fit. What would we talk about? Another side of it was also, that whenever i looked at members, the missionaries and such, i felt so unhappy. Because i remembered the spirit and happiness, and every time i looked  at them it reminded me of what i had left behind. Distancing myself made it easier to walk away. And it left me feeling guilty and judged to see them, even if i probably judged myself most. It was not just members - i remember once i saw the scriptures lying near me, and i just sat there staring at it and started sobbing. I threw it away eventually.


I would also get angry when any family member talked to me about anything gospel related. Wanted so desperately to be accepted as who i was, rather than who they saw me for. It did not matter if i were acting true to who they thought i was or if i were acting like who i really was. I needed to be accepted for who i was at that moment, enough that i did not feel i had to change into what other people wanted me to be. Which from their perspective.. all of the lessons and promptings to repent or better my life was done out of love. But when in a place like that, it can seem like your person it getting critisized, which i did enough of myself. There is a golden midway though, where everyone can be true to themself and each other, without pushing apart from each other. But it is quite a balancing act at first.


It took years before we perfected that (my family and i). Because of miscommunications i went off the radar a lot of times.. ending up around in different cities, being out for weeks partying and then coming home to crash for a day, and then repeat. At one point i ran away from home and i did not see my family for some months. The point with it is - that the miscommunication from both sides, made the easiest solution for me to just be abscent. Ofcourse, none of us was happy with that. But i could not see another solution. Mind you i could have been much better at dealing with... well, everything at that point. I just know of others that have felt the same when leaving the church or becoming inactive.


To cut it short, i returned home one day - to church and family, and everything is very different now :)


The moment i stopped feeling judged and unwelcomed, things bettered almost instantly. I stopped seeing simply church members and started seeing fellow humans, and they started looking at who i was and not through me to what i could be - i think we all started healing in my family from then on.


That does not mean you can't be honest about your faith. It is when it is pushed onto another person, especially someone with anger towards it, that it can backfire. Just be a friend.


It is mainly in the hands of the person who is leaving the church though. If you show them love, you will know you have done all that you can. But regardless if you do or don't, each person has their own free will to choose the road they wish to take.


It can be hard to accept when it is someone you care for... all you can do is never to give up. You never know what the future holds. :)

Edited by Milluw
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My wife left the church 2 yrs ago because of 1) social drama with other women members, 2) doctrinal issues


as far as family relations, I have many inactives in my family, she has a few in her family so there is no difference in the way she is viewed at from family members or should I say it was a smooth transition? business as usual? the only people that took it hard at first was my mom and her mom, both mothers are fanatical members (and divorcees), which brought on thoughts that if I divorced my wife it would also be a smooth transition? lol jk.


as far as friends, she did have a few close member friends that slowly grew distant, in part because of the change of beliefs but mostly because being busy raising our own families.


as far as members..no public announcement but many obvious signs in her new way of dress, some members still dont know, they just think she is inactive because she doesnt come to church. She still comes to some activities because she wants to be around our children, she is still friendly with those who were genuinely friendly with her.


She does realize that her upbringing in the church helped keep her life as simple and drama free as possible so she does appreciate the church as an organization for our kids rather then a religion for them.

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I'll try to clarify the situation, though that's hard when I'm trying to be vague. ;)


This family member went out with a bang, and there was some discord at first. A couple of family members tried to talk her (them) out of it. After it was clear that they were going to leave the Church no matter what, I think we all just went back to loving them as always and continuing to include them in things. He (her husband) hasn't had any change toward family; he's as open and willing and loving as ever. She is increasingly closing herself off from all LDS friends and family (we grew up together, then she married into my family, so I fit into both categories). No discussion of church happens beyond natural "I have YW Wednesday" or "I'm going to my mom's after church". And yet, this family member is showing up at fewer family functions, and either won't make plans to do things like go to lunch or go boating, or cancels last minute. I just don't understand why, especially when she openly said she was disappointed that people in her ward seemed to cut them off after they said they were leaving the church.


I'm not sure any of that makes sense. If that's the case, I'm sorry.

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Is her husband open to being asked if everything is ok? In case she is not able to be approached. Ofcourse that could backlash, if she would be offended that you not go directly to her. It is hard to advice when i don't know them personally, on how to approach it. If neither can be approached.. then i am not sure if anything can be done, other than what it sounds like you already are doing.

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