In my world, my immediate family is the most important thing to me. My Hubby and my kids. The people I would walk through fire for. This is also a matter of concern within the LDS church because we are taught of the importance of eternal families. "Eternal" being the key word here. Because all too often members are taught not to date people outside of the church because you could never have an eternal family, and, even more horrifying, taught to leave their spouse if the spouse has become an unbeliever. Their family wouldn't be eternal anymore. So, they need to find someone else to get them to the highest degreee of glory. All because "Eternal Families."
So, based on this latter teaching, I was terrified to tell my Hubby. Horrified that he could possibly look at me and say, "Fine. If you don't want to join me in the Celestial Kingdom, then we can part ways so that I can find someone who does." Then I would be a single mom with a toddler and a baby and NO job. Scary.
I don't remember my exact words, but I asked my Hubby to sit with me in the living room. I wanted to talk. We sat in darkness, in our basement apartment while I tried to explain my feelings. Feelings of dissatisfaction, betrayal, and desertion from the church. I was trying to let my Hubby know that functioning at church was getting harder. I wasn't sure what was going to happen. I wasn't sure if I was staying or going, but I wanted my Hubby to know where I was at. What I was thinking about. And I wanted our communication to stay open and honest. Because I truly believe communication is the basis for a loving and functional relationship.
I do not remember any of the responses from my Hubby. I do remember LOVE. I remember him assuring me that, no matter what, we were going to stay together. He loved me. And not just because we had the same beliefs. Just because of me. He loved me and I loved him. That's all that really mattered. We were in this journey together.
This is not to say that our life has been easy to navigate. It wasn't. We had to figure out what would work for us. We talked about articles I read. We talked about the church's opinions on political topics. We talked about church attendance. For a while, I went. Then there was a time that I didn't go and just my Hubby and kids went. But that wasn't working either. We did finally come to a compromise. We split our time. Every other week we took turns deciding what our Sunday would look like. My hubby would choose church, so we went to church on his weeks. On my weeks, we usually went to the park or for a hike. Our Sundays were together because that's what we wanted. Being together was most important to us.
As we talked about different topics concerning the church we realized that we agreed on a lot of things. If not completely, partially. We had common ground. Together, we attended a Candle Light Vigil put on by the Utah Pride Center that showed support of Marriage Equality when the United States Supreme Court was hearing arguments on Prop. 8 and DOMA.
There was a moment I was unsure what my Hubby would think. I wanted to join Ordain Women in their demonstration by waiting in line for stand-by tickets to the Priesthood Session. I even asked him if he would join me. He did. My Hubby came with me in both October 2013 and April 2014. We joined hundreds in support of a better environment for women within the LDS church.
Over time, it became unbearable to attend church meetings for me. The judgmental discussions and elitism over non-believers was not something I could handle anymore. I thought we were at church to discuss Jesus. After a particularly disturbing Sunday School class that demeaned those who have doubts, I stopped going. The kids and I stayed home while my Hubby attended. Then after church we would do something fun together. When I decided not to attend anymore my Hubby was VERY supportive. He understood. The anger on Sundays was not worth our family's happiness. It would destroy the whole day. Our life was better without me going.
I have heard many stories about couples where one spouse doesn't believe anymore and they are faced with arguments, a multitude of problems, and divorce. These are all sad and terrible situations. And my heart hurts for each and every couple. I have been so lucky with my experience. My Hubby has been supportive even through disagreements. Working through was always our main goal. I'm grateful for his patience and love.