Most of my posting on this blog is about my kids, family events, or the random thoughts that spew from my head. But every so often, I feel the need to chronicle something a bit more serious. This will be one such post. Feel free to click away if you aren't in a serious mood.
I have thought for a long time about writing on this subject. I haven't yet for various reasons - it may come as a surprise to some of my family/readers, I don't know what to say, or even a little fear of being judged. But here it goes...
I am an active member of the LDS church. I go to church, I fulfill callings, I try my best to teach my girls about Jesus Christ. My wonderful husband does none of those things. He has been "inactive" for several years now. He only goes to church when I request it as a favor to help with the kids. He doesn't do any of the primary answers and has no desire to change. His belief system is quite different than mine.
As you can imagine, this has been a challenge in our marriage. The beliefs that I hold so dear, the ones that guide my life, he doesn't share. It wasn't always this way. When we first met, and married, we were on the same religious page. Over time, his beliefs have changed and we have had to deal with that as a couple. In some ways, it has made our marriage much stronger. In others, it has nearly ripped us apart. I have gone through a series of emotions dealing with this - anger, embarrassment, apathy, doubt, and finally acceptance. It has taught me to truly respect others with different views, not just begrudgingly tolerate them. I have learned that we all have struggles and that marriage takes work. I have learned that as long as there is love, respect and communication in a marriage, you can overcome anything.
I have had to examine my own beliefs and decide how I feel about them. It takes much more effort to live my religion by myself. JM is incredible supportive and encourages me to live my faith - for this I am lucky and grateful. Having dealt with this for many years, my concerns surrounding it have shifted. I used to be embarrassed to go to church alone. Now I worry that my girls will be excluded because of their father's inactivity. I used to be jealous of women with church-attending husbands. Now I worry that my husband will be misjudged based on one aspect of his person. I worry less about myself and more about the impact of intolerance on my family.
My husband is intelligent, funny, sensitive, curious, loving, caring and a great provider. He is a wonderful husband and father and I love him immensely. So here is my shout-out to anyone else who has a wonderful spouse/child/parent/friend who doesn't believe like you do. It doesn't have to be the end of the relationship. It is an opportunity for both people to grow and deepen the relationship. Even though this is not something I would have choosen for my life, it has made me a better person and for that I am grateful.
1 week ago