I am going to break down into 3 different posts how to still talk about your thoughts and feelings about the Church in a marriage when someone has left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Part 1: Anticipation of the conversation.
I hate needles. I hate getting shots and even watching my kids get shots. The anticipation of getting the shot causes my body to get tense, my heart to race, my palms to get sweaty, and I just want to run away. However, you can’t have four babies without getting some blood drawn…a lot!
As soon as I actually get the shot, it pricks and hurts for a second, then it is over. I literally tell myself every time- Oh, that wasn’t too bad. Every. Time.
Anticipation in many cases can feel way more intense than the actual event. Anticipating a vacation can be almost more exciting than the actual vacation. Anticipating the shot can be way worse than the actual shot.
When we are anticipating something, our mind is swirling with thoughts on how we think it will go or want it to go. Because it doesn’t really know how it will all turn out- the mind can go in many directions of what it believes will happen. It can almost be comical where our mind will take us in a worst case scenario. It doesn’t feel funny in the moment because it feels paralyzing and scary, but later you can see how that thought was completely unrealistic.
Many of my clients in their marriages are avoiding talking about the Church because of the anticipation of what their spouse may say or react. It feels intense in their minds and they come up with how terrible it will go or they will go back and reference their past experiences to determine the outcome.
Let anticipation work for you and not against you.
The first time I got a shot was the worst. If there wasn’t a human growing in my belly- I would have definitely backed out. I made myself almost sick the night before knowing the next day I had to get a shot. However, each time got a little bit easier. I calmed my mind down and started telling myself that it only lasts a second, it isn’t as bad as I think, and it is necessary to have a healthy baby. These thoughts helped calm me down and the anticipation didn’t feel as intense.
As you go into these conversations, calm your mind down. Remind yourself on why talking about the Church and sharing your true feelings can keep you connected in your marriage. How it can help your family and children still feel unified and close even among all the changes. Think about your own reasons that help you calm down and to understand that these things are important to discuss.
Marriage’s deepest foundation is love, next is communication. When communication isn’t solid, then everything can crumble. Learning to talk openly with each other starts with just one brick at a time and not letting the anticipation stop you from building.
Next week in Part 2 we will dive more into having the conversation.
**If the anticipation feels too intense and you need help with some thoughts to calm down, jump on a call and I can help you. Click here for help.