Any advice before I tell my wife I no longer believe in the church

by cantsayyet Apr 2012

I recently realized that mormonism is not true. I've decided to tell my wife, so if anyone has advice before I do it would be appreciated. By tell her, I mean pull up the list of Joseph Smith's wives on FamilySearch with some details about the circumstances of a few of them. Ideally, I would be able to convince her with this, but she is very rooted in mormonism, so I've come to terms that she might continue to believe.

But I want to avoid hurting our relationship if possible. I'd almost rather pretend to be mormon for the rest of my life and stay with her than lose her.

One wrinkle in my plan, I recently found out my wife is pregnant with our second child (due in October). New baby means lots of interaction with family over the next several months. I worry that if she stops believing, she might regress back to believing with all the family pressure and emotion of prengency and child birth. I'm willing to hold out until after the baby is born, but do you think that it would make a difference if I tell her now or later?

Re: Any advice before I tell my wife I no longer believe in the church
You might want to wait for awhile -- or not. It is hard to say and it may not matter because it is usually very traumatic no matter what. Remember that mormonism is just completely false top to bottom so there is no compelling or essential independent reason to do anything or react to it at all -- it is just false.

Realize that your dissonance is all in your head. Not that it isn't real and present and accurate, but that it belongs to only you. In the same sense that some people assuage their guilt by detailed confession, and that same confession can be hurtful to others, detailing fully your apostasy can feel good but may be hurtful to others.

If you decide to proceed, I would suggest that you try to describe all the main issues for her first as completely as you can before dropping the big bombshell.

It may not make a difference, but at least some of the really important information will be permanently in her head.

"Hey DW, I am thinking through some really interesting and surprising things. Can you sit with me and try to follow my thinking and then tell me how you react?" [Sure] "OK, well first there are these historical writings by women who claimed to be wives of JS {read some key examples] . . . . and then I checked on Family Search and sure enough they WERE wives."

Then I read where the original BofA papyrus was discovered only recently [yada, yada, yada]."


BofM archeology.

Etc. Etc.

"OK so what do you think of all this stuff?"

I would imagine long before you declare what your conclusions are you will get a good read on how this is playing. Whether you go the full distance and declare your position is up to you at that point.

We all had to do this in one way or another. In my case, my family thought enough of my good faith and good judgment to trust that I wasn't likely to be easily fooled by obvious BS, and they were willing to do their own research and shortly thereafter resigned. Others have been mercilessly savaged no matter how careful or considerate or trustworthy they were.

Good luck to you, let us know how things go. You are not alone.

Re: Any advice before I tell my wife I no longer believe in the church
I guess it really depends on how you think she will react. You know her well, and obviously we don't know her at all. If she is a tbM and her family and your family are the same way, I would probably wait a year until the baby is a few months old. If you feel she is on the edge, and you leaving might persuade her to leave herself I would tell her now.

Leaving Mormonism can cause serious marital problems and lead to divorce. You will want to eventually tell her. Absolutely don't live a lie the rest of your life. If you are going to wait until after the baby is born because she is a tbM, I would drop hints like bringing up a controversial church issue, or deciding not to go to church one week to see how she'll react. That will help you decide when to drop the big bombshell.

Re: Any advice before I tell my wife I no longer believe in the church
Do this...but one issue at a time, and very slowly. Wait a couple weeks in between - it may feel excruciatingly slow. Make sure to approach with curiosity. Have a plan so you know when to ease off. Creating cog-dis is good, but having her jump into defense mode may backfire.

Don't do it with a newborn, for sure. Too many hormones, too much possibility of post-partum depression issues. Probably also not the best thing to make her wrestle with during the final trimester depending on how she does. You know her better than we do to judge this sort of thing!

Make sure she knows you love her above all else.

My two cents.

See these suggestions
from people who have told the spouse and paid dearly for the mistakes they made when doing so:

The biggest and most important suggestions for avoiding a catastrophic result:





don't raise your kids in a cult built on lies
best advice I can give a father

Devoted Exmo
Re: Any advice before I tell my wife I no longer believe in the church
Almost everyone who has been successful with this made sure they stressed to their spouse that they are completely committed to the marriage (since mormons have belief and marriage tightly coupled in their minds). So tell her and show her in every way you can that you love her and are married to her and are deeply committed.

My wife was deaf to all information and facts against the church, and my paltry attempts to inform her were taken as hostile, hateful attacks. Ironically, Mormons are well conditioned to flatly reject it, like YOU did all those years.

A mistake that virtually every mormon makes as they recognize the truth is thinking that other mormons will also just say, oh wow, how about that, we were wrong.

Doesn't work that way.

The evidence was there all along. What's changed is YOU. Something happened that caused you to finally consider the possibility the church was wrong, whereupon you quickly recognized the litter of clues that were always there.

It's not the nature of the information that pursuaded you, it was your receptiveness to it. The same information is widely rationalized and dismissed by lots of mormons.

At best, they'll treat you like your sick.
At worst, they'll treat you like an enemy.

It's fine and maybe necessary to state your own unbelief. I did. But trying to pursuade someone if they're not ready will only flop.

This is a years-long process, don't rush it. Everything you say can and will be used against you. Silence and privacy protect you. Don't prematurely show your cards.

I've resigned from the church and my wife STILL thinks it's because I had a bad childhood in mormonism and just had hard feelings. She has not heard a single word I said about why I don't believe in it anymore. Luckily she treats me like I'm sick, not like an enemy. It's patronizing, but I can live with it. You might as well take off your coat and shoes and stay a while, because she isn't ggoing to just say "OK".

Emma's Flaming Sword
My husband figured out the church was bunk when I was pregnant with our first child
Like others have stated the best advice is to go very slow. He let the information he has discovered trickle out. And he was never confrontational about it. He also let it simmer before he went on to something else. He also posed a lot of philosophical questions about the nature of faith and blind obedience. It took me a few years to finally accept the church was one big lie. The thing that put me over the edge was doing my own research on Joe’s so-called marriages. Best of luck.
Re: Any advice before I tell my wife I no longer believe in the church
I'm going through the same thing.

I told my wife I don't believe anymore but went to church and pretended for so long just so the non-judgemental but judging members wouldn't look at her like one of those moms doing it solo with 3 kids. I recently pulled the final plug and our marriage hasn't ended yet.

Don't pretend anymore, it will eat you up and you will become Schizophrenic between the social aspect of church(watching people cry bearing their testimony) and your true ability to reason.

What really helped me justify my exit to my wife was the subject of polygamy in the next life. Supposedly, we men are going to have multiple wives. I told my wife I love her more than any doctrine and I'd rather go to hell than dilute my love for her in the next life.

Everyone is going to look at you like the "Lazy" husband that doesn't want to support your wife. Don't get caught up in that. You need the social support, and I've recently found it here. Good luck brother.

Are you SURE you want to do that??? I realized it was all bs but then I also realized
that I could lose my family over something as ridiculous as mormonism so I made the decision to go the rest of my life, lying if I needed to in order to keep my family together. But I wouldn't take it all lying down. I started getting my wife to question the numerous absurdities in mormonism like the Noah story or their lack of support for evolution. Two years later she said she was having doubts. Two months later we were out and life's been great ever since.

So, being honest with your wife my feel good at first but I figure the go approach may work out better in the long run.

Good luck.

Re: Any advice before I tell my wife I no longer believe in the church

You really nailed it on the spot below, I knew of all the evidence but blindly rejected it. It was when I changed my outlook on life that I found the truth:

"The evidence was there all along. What's changed is YOU. Something happened that caused you to finally consider the possibility the church was wrong, whereupon you quickly recognized the litter of clues that were always there.

It's not the nature of the information that pursuaded you, it was your receptiveness to it. The same information is widely rationalized and dismissed by lots of mormons."

Re: Any advice before I tell my wife I no longer believe in the church
You have gotten some great advice. I don't know if you should tell her while she is pregnant, but then again with a newborn it might not be great timing either. That's a tough one. We had something serious happen with our family when I was pregnant with my second child and I thought I was going to miscarry because I was so upset for a while. It was a hard pregnancy for me with all of the anxiety I was having. Just something to think about. You know how seriously TBMs take their cult, er religion. ;)

Lost Mystic
Re: Any advice before I tell my wife I no longer believe in the church
Focus on the ideals you still hold on to....

Honesty, compassion, love, integrity, etc.

The only thing that has changed is that you don't feel the LDS church follows those ideals.

Re: Any advice before I tell my wife I no longer believe in the church
I would suggest presenting her with a bit of the information that bothers you and get her to explain why it was ok for Joseph smith to rape a 14 year old Helen Kimball. Ask your wife to explain that to you. He was 36 and she was that ok? She will probably say it was not important and that we are not to know everything in this life, so try to come up with a strategy to keep on-task and not evade the issue.

The idea here is to get your wife to figure it out on her own by having her explain it to you. Joseph smith had more wives than warren that ok? He seems to be more of a jim jones or david koresh than a prophet of god.

Why do the church members shy away from this topic? Ask her to explain that one.

Re: Any advice before I tell my wife I no longer believe in the church
Waiting is fine....but throw hints around in the meantime. Then it won't be such a blow. Sorry you now have another child she will try to baptize. Be firm with her when you do tell, and say our children will not be baptized at 8. Period. They will decide at 18 if she is still active. I like the idea of showing her info about JS's wives. Throw her some bones now and then and how it bothers you.
Re: Any advice before I tell my wife I no longer believe in the church

don't assume anything about your DW;
sometimes we Exs get a 'Smarter than You' attitude;


Re: Any advice before I tell my wife I no longer believe in the church
Get an idea of where she is with her belief. If you were to ask her:

"If you found out the church wasn't really what it claimed to be and that JS was a fraud, what would you do?"

"If the church was not true, would you want to know?"

If she is attached emotionally to the point that facts don't matter, you will need to approach the situation differently than you would if she is open to reason and facts. If she is a reader, that will help.

My husband let me know he felt sick about how the church puts women under the rule of men. He said he was uncomfortable with the teaching that he was to be the middleman between me and God- especially in the temple. The subtle ways women are kept in their place began to catch my attention.

My husband told me he loved me too much to see me and our daughter treated differently than men. Would the Mormon leadership allow a young man to be interviewed about their sex lives by a woman? Heck no, but women are supposed to think it is OK for men to question women and girls. That was a wake up thought for me.

Get Todd Compton's In Sacred Loneliness and ask your wife if you can read it with her. Tell her you want her perspective because as a man you can see what was behind JS's actions. If she reads with the intent of explaining to you her views, chances are the exposure to what JS was really doing will wake her up.

Chris Deanna
I'm concentrating on the clinical aspects...only
Right now, your wife's body is very busy (yes, I have a bias). She is a tad (sarcasm) busy creating another human being. Her hormones are not in proper normal receptive mode and will not be for some time.

I'm assuming sweet wife is thrilled to be having another child with you?! Notice the "with you" part!

Ask yourself, if YOU would want this news or could even properly process this news while in this physical state? Any stress she experiences (new science is reporting this now more than ever) is supposedly transferred to the fetus and stress hormones are released in the body of the fetus--by the fetus. Some doctors (right or wrong, I don't know) will claim that anxious children come from anxious parents, although the mother is usually the target on this one (again, I admit my bias, so friends, please don't call me on it...I pass on this information with kindness and concern for "Cantsayet's" family.)

Since you're asking for advice and know that I feel compassion for your situation...enjoy this time with your wife and family and give her the extra pampering treatment she deserves and SHOW her you are the loving husband she wants to keep. After baby arrives, do your best to check her hormone levels (does she still cry during commercials for Bounce, or does she seem 'back to normal').

Then, tell her how much your growing family means to you (remember you already proved there's not much to argue about there) and then take it slowly. It may have already been said, but you are doubting/disbelieving Mormonism not your committment and love to her and your children...make that clear. I hope this helps...if this was your biological sister and she was in this same situation, what would you advise her husband to do? Just some things to think about. Good luck.

Here is my good/bad story
Ok, so, I told my (now ex) wife when I left Mormonism. Obviously it didn't go well.

Actually, at first it did. She cried, but told me she loved me and that we would be able to work through this. The goodwill didn't last though, and she asked me what I did, and how I sinned, for me to think of leaving. She didn't really get that it was an intellectual thing, not an issue with me being too worried to talk to my Bishop.

After a couple of months, our marriage fell apart. Mormonism wasn't the only thing that made our marriage unsustainable, we weren't completely great for each other, but it was probably the biggest part.

However, in the end, I grew more after my divorce than I did my entire life. I'm much happier now, though I have developed commitment issues, haha.

Sorry, I don't have any real advice other than my story. Be honest, work on improving the essential, and non-religious, parts of your marriage, and plan ahead for when things don't go well. Good luck man.

Edit: Yes, and to reflect other people's advice in here, don't think for even one second that facts about the church will change her. It worked on you, awesome, but it doesn't work on most Mormons. Realize that most religious people are experts at justifying crazy doctrines and crazy history to themselves. If she can swallow a pill like virgin birth and magical underwear, she won't have a single problem swallowing facts about Joseph Smith. Be ready for that as well.

Re: I was in your exact shoes the spring of 2005...
so here is my advice.
1. Go slow. Best advice I got was to love her like I was going to die tomorrow.
2. Do not bombard her with "anti" information. She will push back rather than listen.
3. Expect anger, hurt, sadness, tears. Remeber that she will think you just ruined "her" chances for eternity.
4. Just let her know you are questioning things.
5. Remember she is pregnant.

Good luck. Seriously, what you are attempting has a low percentage success rate.

~ Adam

"Recovery from Mormonism -"