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Marriage on a Tightrope: 003: Feeling Overwhelmed

Going through a faith transition can lead to both husband and wife feeling overwhelmed for many reasons.  In this episode, Allan and Kattie talk about feeling overwhelmed, and the ways that they have been able to cope with those feelings.


11 thoughts on “Marriage on a Tightrope: 003: Feeling Overwhelmed”

  1. Just listened to your episode 3 about feeling overwhelmed. Coincidentally, our Relief Society discussion today was about that very subject and simplifying. The best comment I heard come out of that discussion was “every time you say ‘yes’ to something, consider what you are saying ‘no’ to.” I too have declined callings (gasp from the audience) when the cost to my family was too high. Although my husband and I are on the same faith transition trajectory, I am enjoying your podcast.

  2. I’m very impressed with the way you two work out things together. Maybe, just maybe I can work out things with my spouse just as well too.

    1. We don’t have it all figured out David, but we sure are trying and committed to each other. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need someone to talk to.

  3. I’ve lost all trust in the institution of the church and its leaders. I think they are people trying to be their best as they define it. The church’s truth claims are too hard for me to believe now that I have looked beyond the trusted church in my pursuit of truth. I looked beyond the church once I discovered the correlation department actively perpetuates a subjective interpretation of history instead of an objective one (The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect).

    I have been trying to recalibrate my world for years, but the biggest torture for me is trying to stand up for my current beliefs while respecting my wife’s (my old beliefs). We were happy when we were both in the church, and I can totally see us way happier out of the church, but she persistently chooses to maintain her belief in the dominant narrative. There is no room for her to explore all the facts and evaluate them on her own. There is no room to explore them together. Wouldn’t her greatest life work be to save the soul that she is married for eternity to? Come, look at what I have looked at, help me make sense of it. Put in the work to help me believe again. Instead, there is frustration, anger, sadness and purposeful ignorance. She refuses to apply even the same type of research she has put into a refrigerator purchase into researching the validity of the LDS sales pitch.

    I would very much appreciate an honest and vulnerable discussion with Kattie about this type of approach by a believing spouse. I can’t say whether any of the above hits home with her, but hopefully she is familiar with those challenges for other believing spouses. I am really, really struggling to understand why there is little effort to get me back in the boat. I feel like everyone in the boat throws the (1) read, (2) pray, (3) go to church, (4) just believe life preservers and then they just give up on you. No one is willing to dive in and swim me back. Maybe once you are in, you’ll realize it is safer/better to swim together to the beach.

    1. Hi John,

      Not Allen or Kattie, but here’s my take. In my experience, men and women leave the church for different reasons, and I think a lot of it is rooted in differences between the YM and YW programs. The YM program emphasizes doctrine and developing leadership skills, while the YW program focuses more on nurturing and developing social networks. As a result, men are more likely to leave due to doctrinal and historical problems, because that’s what their testimony is rooted in. Whereas, while some women leave for those reasons, in my experience, most women leave because their social network has broken down.

      In your case, your wife is probably getting support from the other sisters at church as she’s going through this difficult time. Rather than trying to tear that down, your best bet is probably to back off and let her receive the support she needs. It can be really hard, especially if you have children and you disagree about how to raise them.

      Have you and your wife tried counselling?

  4. the cost to your wife would be too high and she has internally calibrated that, she’s scared. Also, personality differences are crucial. Check out meyers-briggs, free test on the web now. and it might help you to see that she is “being” rather “doing something to you”. perhaps this will ease your struggle a bit. Take care John.

  5. Hi Allan and Kattie,

    Just discovered your podcast and so far I’m really impressed. I listened to all of the Unequally Yoked episodes before they took them down, and I’m liking your podcast a lot more so far.

    One thing I was struck by in this particular episode is that it sounds like Allan travels a lot for work. Neal from Unequally Yoked travelled a lot for work, and I used to travel pretty extensively for work also. I’m thinking that’s a pretty common thread in all of our faith journeys. Once you step outside the “Mormon Bubble” and into “The World”, you realize that people aren’t that different from you and that “The World” isn’t such a scary place. In my case, my job took me all over the world and I worked with a lot of people from different backgrounds and religions. I was always taught growing up that people in the world were miserable without “The Gospel” and that being in the church was the only way to discover true happiness. What I found is that in many cases, the folks I was working with weren’t even Christian. I worked with Muslims, orthodox Jews, Buddhists, avowed Atheists, etc., and I found that most of these folks were leading happy and fulfilling lives. In many cases, they were much happier than I was.

    Allan, I wonder if that was a factor in your faith journey also?

    1. Steve! You reminded me of the Mark Twain quote:

      “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

      I certainly have found this to be the case. It absolutely has played a huge part for me. In episode 6 I tell a brief story of an African refugee family being reunited at an airport I was traveling to. That moment was life changing for me. Anecdotal example time! I served my mission in Barcelona Spain from 2002-2004. I loved it, don’t regret it and never will. Where it gets relevant here is when Kattie and I went back to Spain in 2015. When we didn’t have our missionary badges on, and weren’t trying to sell Mormonism to them, these people were soooooooo nice! They were willing to do anything for us. They complimented our Spanish, slowed down and chatted with us, gave us directions, all with a smile. It was soooo different than what we experienced on our mission. Eye opening for sure.

      Over the last year, my travel time has absolutely played a part in my faith crisis in a different way. It’s been alone time to search, ponder and pray. Being away from the business of home and office was critical in helping me discover what was important to me by just being out on my own.

      Thanks for the comment Steve!

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