What are the Most Difficult Aspects of a Mormon Faith Crisis?

The following is a list of the most difficult aspects of a Mormon Faith Crisis, aggregated from this blog post:

  • Marriage
    • Coming out to my spouse a a non-believer.
    • Navigating a mixed-faith marriage.
      • Receiving an ultimatum of having to choose between leaving the clutch or staying married.
      • My spouse won’t speak with me about the church, and we end up arguing any time we attempt to “go there.”
      • My believing parents support my believing spouse over me.
      • My believing parents are encouraging my spouse to divorce me.
      • My believing in-laws blame me for my spouse’s disaffection.
      • I am being threatened with divorce over faith differences.
      • Dealing with divorce after my faith crisis.
    • Figuring out if I should stay married now that so much has changed.
    • How to rebuild a marriage now that Mormonism is no longer the foundation our marriage.
  • Family
    • Deciding when/how to come out to family.
    • Fear of disappointing/harming my parents/family by being open/honest.
    • Disappointing my father/mother.
    • Seeing my parents view themselves as failures because of my disaffection.
    • Losing the respect of my parents.  No matter how successful I am in life, I fear that they will always see me as a disappointment.
    • The feeling of betraying my family – everyone in my life who cares for me.
    • Family strife.
    • Losing the financial/emotional support of my family.
    • Being disowned by family.
    • Receiving letters from family members calling me to repentance, beckoning me to come back to the faith.
    • Keeping my mouth shut in the presence of believing family.  Avoiding the urge to flood them with troubling historical facts about the church.
    • Giving the respect to believers that I am seeking as a non-believer.
    • Hearing believing family talk about church in front of me, and not being able to contribute.
    • Trying to explain my position to family members only strengthens their position, and pushes them away.
    • Relationships with believing family have become more shallow as we have less in common/to talk about.
    • Pressure from parents to remain active.
    • Being demonized or no longer trusted by family as grandparent/parent/sibling/uncle/aunt/cousin.
    • Dealing with family members who have doubled down as a result of my disaffection.
    • Grandparents pushing religion on grandchildren (my children)
  • Friends
    • Fear of losing friends.
    • Losing all of my friends.
    • Making new friends who share background and experience.
    • The only remaining Mormon friends are trying to get me to return to church. 
  • Social/Community
    • Everyone is distancing themselves from me.
    • Feeling alone, isolated, and misunderstood.
    • Having no one safe to talk to about my faith crisis.
    • Loss of community.
    • Loss of the immediate social structure the church provides when you move to a new town.
    • Finding friends/community in real life (vs. online).
    • I can find unhealthy post-Mormon community, but how do I find HEALTHY post-Mormon community?
  • Parenting
    • Overcoming the guilt/shame for having raised my children LDS.
    • Having my children remain LDS after I have left.  Fearing that they will lose respect for me, or having them lose respect for me or fear me.
    • Losing respect for my children because they choose to remain faithful.  Disrespecting them.
    • Overcoming the fear that I will ruin my children if I leave Mormonism.
    • How do I “come out” to my children?  How much do I tell them, and when?
    • Fear that my children will be shunned by friends/community if they/we leave the church.
    • Figuring out how to parent without the church/fear/control.
    • How do I teach my children values without religion?
    • Finding community for my children.
    • Fear that my believing spouse will turn my children against me.
  • Individual
    • Losing my sense of certainty, and of being special.
    • Terrified of being wrong.
    • Overcoming all of the Mormon conditioning.  Neutralizing all of the conditioned fear that a person cannot be healthy/happy/moral without Mormonism.
    • Overcoming my anger and feelings of betrayal at the Mormon church.
    • Patience.
    • Dealing with the regret of time/money/opportunity lost.
    • Living in secret/the closet.  Being inauthentic.  Dealing with the cognitive dissonance of living a double life (e.g., deceiving, lying, hiding)
    • Doubting myself.
    • Having the bottom fall out of my life and not only doing it alone, but being demonized for doing it.
    • Losing status with family and community.
    • Finding someone to trust.  How do I trust anyone again?
    • Overcoming feelings of guilt for letting everyone down.
    • Overcoming feelings of “not good enough”
    • Overcoming the fear that God will start punishing me for leaving Mormonism, or that I will end up in “outer darkness” (i.e., Mormon hell)
    • Wanting to be understood by believers (e.g., my heart and intentions)
    • Reprogramming my brain about things like sex and dating.
    • Loss of identity.  Who am I now?
    • Losing the sense of meaning/purpose that Mormonism provided.
    • Reclaiming my power/voice as a woman and figuring out who I am after accepting my status as a 2nd class citizen in the church for decades.
    • Finding a mentor/guide or a support group for my faith crisis.
    • Learning to trust self as authority/inner-guide.
    • Learning to rebuild self-esteem on things outside of Mormonism.
    • Cynicism.
    • Fear of, or actual loss of employment, income.
    • Finding tolerance/empathy/love for believing Mormons.
    • Figuring out what parts of my old life to keep, and what parts to throw away.
    • Reconstructing my own morality regarding dating, sex, alcohol, service, finance/charitable contributions, etc. Basically, in any area where, previously the prophet had spoken and the thinking was done, I had to press the edges and think for myself, decide what I consider right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable.
    • Dealing with stereotypes, negative rumors, and gossip about me and my family.
    • Discarding the binary or true/false or good/bad world view.  Seeing the world as a spectrum of shades and colors.
    • Surviving BYU as a non-believer.  Fearing getting kicked out and losing my status as a student, $$$, etc.
  • Communication Skills
    • How to communicate directly and assertively, instead of passive-aggressively.
    • Setting boundaries with those who tend to over-step them.
    • Better conflict resolution skills.
  • Mental Health
    • Dealing with the anxiety/depression/apathy that accompanies a Mormon faith crisis.
    • Dealing with the noises and voices in my head.
    • Dealing with the grief of loss.
    • Dealing with suicidal thoughts after a faith crisis.
    • Carrying the burden of having to be the happy/healthy exMormon so as to not fulfill the stereotypes.
    • Finding a therapist who “gets it” (i.e., Mormon faith crisis)
    • Ridding myself of the obsession to read books, Reddit, listen to podcasts, etc. about Mormonism.
    • Finding joy after your entire world view, identity, family, and community fall apart
    • Maintaining hope that it will get better.
    • Faith crisis starting to negative impact my physical health.
  • Spirituality/Religion
    • Dealing with the fear of dying/death.
    • Figuring out my own, authentic beliefs.
    • Finding another church.
    • Reframing past spiritual confirmations in an agnostic current life view.
    • Confidence in self-directed spiritually/mindfulness.
    • Replacing the spirituality/inspiration that the church provided.
    • How do I keep Sundays special/sacred for my family?
    • The loss of ritual.  I love ritual.
  • Service
    • Finding meaningful opportunities to serve.
  • Mormon Church Issues
    • Dealing with nosy bishops or ward members.
    • Church continues to follow me around and bother me wherever I go.
    • Being excluded from temple or priesthood rituals.
    • Staying silent in church.  Others can share their cooky views, but I have to stay silent or risk upsetting others.
    • Feeling like I am being “gaslighted” by the church and family/friends.
    • Dealing with Mormon apologists.
    • Trying to remain active LDS as an unorthodox Mormon.

(Left off at “Daniellesays”)

Comments 1

  1. I divorced after 38 years of marriage. I filed. I moved from my former home in Gilbert AZ to small town in SW MO. I have temple recommend did go up to KC temple last year. Was regular in AZ. Im older, 76 but still sexually viable. I am having difficulty in dating, sexual activity in new status. Interested in counseling via phone or internet. Is this possible. If so what are rated.

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