Mixed Faith Marriages and Therapy

Interview

Posted September 4th, 2015

Tom and Glenn are joined with Kim and Adam who are both therapists to discuss Jamie’s listener essay titled, “How our Marvelous Mormon Therapist saved our marriage.”

Glenn

Tom

  • Love the essay & the discussion! I grew up in a part-member family & it was rough because neither of my parents respected each other in that aspect. They only just divorced a year ago. Now that I’ve had my own faith transition, I’ve tried to find a good therapist & have failed. The time I got my husband to go with me post-transition, the therapist insulted the LDS idea of eternal families by quoting the Bible. My husband was pissed, and so was I. Tension was diffused by a phone call that the SIL had been in a car accident with our car. Do Kim or Adam have advice for finding a good fit from the start, so that therapy doesn’t make things worse?

    • Tim

      My wife and I went to three therapists. The non-member one was not a good fit — she just couldn’t understand. My mom had been the Laurel advisor for the one from LDS Social Services, so that didn’t work out. The one that we both really liked, who helped us the most, was a LDS woman in private practice. We had to drive over an hour to get to her house, but we both agreed that it was better than wasting our time with someone else. LDS = understands the LDS perspective and private practice = not restrained by LDS Social Services. I don’t think there is a foolproof way to find a good fit right away. I think it’s important to understand that just because the therapist isn’t a good fit doesn’t mean that therapy has failed. If you or your spouse feel like the therapist is partial, or uses a technique that isn’t helpful, or has a personality that doesn’t work, move on. My wife recognized the ones who weren’t a good fit right away, and I foolishly tried to make it work. If you find someone who is a good fit for you, but not for your spouse, you might consider personal therapy sessions with that person. Keep trying!

      • Thank you!!! I appreciate your advice.

  • Malachi

    This was such a great episode. Thank you so much to everyone involved. Much needed and very practical. Hope I can listen with my wife.

  • Aladdin Sane

    Hey Infants, could you add an episode list to your site? Because the RSS feed is starting to chop off the old episodes so that they can’t be accessed through iTunes, and clicking back page through page to get to the beginning is quite an ordeal. I quite often faith-transitioners to your old episodes, so for your brilliant and helpful content to become inaccessible to them would be a shame.

  • Orrin Dayne

    This may be one I can share with my NOM wife. Thanks to everyone on the panel!

  • c

    sooo helpful. it is nice to hear about other non believers who still attend church on a regular basis because they love their spouse and want to support/attend with the family. I do two hours every Sunday. I teach music in primary and generally like my calling. About 70-80% of my time spent at church goes well. I enjoy playing the piano, coming up with creative games to play with the kids… and its important for me to see and hear what my own children are getting taught at church. However, about 20%-30% of the time I’m unhappy, grumpy, annoyed, frustrated, grumpy, unhappy and annoyed… haha. Thanks again for the good discussion!

  • Tim

    I really appreciated this podcast. I often feel like I don’t fit anywhere with my wife — not at church because of me, and not with my non-member friends because my wife is very uncomfortable being around people who drink any amount of alcohol. I’m super jealous of couples like Matt and Kristin who left the church together. And I know my wife is jealous of the TBM couples at church. But we appreciate each other and are committed to each other in a way only possible after truly considering divorce. Once we talked about divorce, I didn’t feel trapped in my marriage anymore. I felt like I could stay married to my wife because I love her. We stopped being afraid that the other would leave.

    The struggles of the non-believer and the believer in this podcast really resonated with me, and I haven’t gotten that anywhere else. Thanks. It gave me some point of reference for what to consider a “successful” marriage. Right now, I go to sacrament meeting, and then I go home. I used to think that I was working toward becoming completely inactive. But now I understand that we just need to meet each other’s needs in ways that we can each accept. So I might just keep going to sacrament meeting indefinitely. When we got married, I thought that we believed the same way because we both came from similar families that had been friends for two generations before us. We even share a Nauvoo polygamist ancestor. But how we believed even before my faith crisis was very different. My faith was orthodox and correlated and rigid and brittle. Her faith dismissed history as irrelevant to the modern church, allowed her to say no to callings and assignments that were unduly burdensome, and ignored talks and statements that ventured too far from the basic principles of “just be a good person”. I think we would have needed therapy to bridge these gaps regardless of my faith crisis. Even though I feel I have a happy marriage, I may need to go back to therapy, because I never want to take my marriage for granted again. It requires ongoing effort.

  • hope_for_things

    I absolutely loved this podcast, and honestly, I’m hoping to find out who the therapist is that Jamie and his wife met with. I think this would be perfect for my relationship right now. I’m in the SLC area. I’d like a referral to this therapist. Can anyone help?

    • TMITC

      Yes, agreed! Please post the name of the therapist that Jamie and his wife met with…or at least let us know how to contact Jamie. Didn’t he mention he would be happy to share this therapists name? My wife and I met with a very notable therapist who fully understands the LDS social structure because this therapist was once a Mormon. However, I think we also need to meet with some who is currently Mormon, but also in private practice so they are not contrained by being professionally tied to “Mormon, Inc.” This would sure make my wife feel more like she is on an even playing field. So how do we find Jamie’s therapist?

      • Matt Scott

        I also would like the name of the therapist. My wife says I can’t watch the drag races until I find out who Loren is. I’m desperate!

  • Alicia

    I especially loved hearing a woman in the position of non-believer. I am in that boat and it was so great to hear everyone’s experiences including Glen who therapy didn’t work out for and to hear a woman in the non-believer position. Thank you for all of your work Infants!