Supporting Your Marriage When Your Spouse Changes or Loses Faith

By Celeste

I am really excited to announce our theme for the week:  supporting our marriages when one spouse goes through a faith transition.  We’ve got some AMAZING guest posters everyday this week. 

I’ve wanted to do this topic for a while, but I kept putting it off because I kept getting really nervous to ask anyone to talk about this.  It can be a very sensitive topic, but an important one that isn’t discussed very much, so I’m extra grateful for my friends who have contributed.  I got so happy on Saturday reading through these posts because I think they are really going to help people.

Initially I set out to ask people of all different faiths whose marriages have gone through all different transitions (Christian to agnostic, atheist to Buddhist, whatever), but then I realized I don’t know that many people from all different religions, let alone people in marriages where one spouse has changed religions, let alone people I would feel comfortable asking to intimately discuss the details of their marriage through this transition for the internet. . . .   Soooo, what we’re left with is that all the posts are from Mormons or former Mormons.  Because you see, I’m Mormon (oh didn’t you know?), so I know a lot of Mormons.

But actually I think that for the purpose of discussing supporting marriage through a faith transition, Mormonism serves a good purpose.  Because the religion is generally all in or all out, there’s not a whole lot of room for doing Mormonism half-way.  So when someone stops practicing the religion, it’s a pretty big life transition.

It can feel big and scary to believe differently than your spouse.  About anything, but particularly in ideas about faith.  Even when both spouses practice the same religion or share the same basic moral beliefs, there are infinite ways two people can see any given moral issue.  Even if they agree, one spouse can believe some issue is more important than the other.  I’m sure every marriage has run into this to some degree.

Additionally, it can feel scary to feel like you and your spouse were once on the same page in your basic belief systems and then to watch your partner change, or if you’re the one changing, to watch your spouse not change with you, it can feel like there is a world of difference between you and your spouse. 

If you’re experiencing this, we’re here to give you hope this week.  Just because you believe differently than your spouse or just because your spouse may have changed since you were wed, it doesn’t mean your marriage is doomed.  It absolutely doesn’t mean you can’t share love, kindness, respect, forgiveness and understanding between you. 

You’re not alone.  There is hope.  I think my guest posters will show you that this week.   

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