Unequally Yoked

Interview

Posted November 8th, 2015

Tom is joined by his brave and excellent wife to interview another couple, Neal & Naomi, and discuss some of the difficulties of living in a mixed faith marriage.

Neal & Naomi’s podcast Unequally Yoked can be found here:

http://unequally-yoked.net

Tom

  • TK

    In this podcast: women who find “truth” through emotion and the men that live with them.

    • sd

      I don’t think that is fair. More accurate would be “in this podcast, women who found themselves in the same place the rest of us have been.”
      Granted, your comment was not elaborate enough to fairly say what your meaning really was, but let me jump to conclusions just the same. If you are here, if you listen to IOT or MoSto or just about any other post-LDS themed podcast then the chances are pretty good that you felt the Church was true at one point in time. Let’s get off the high-horse (conclusion jumped clearly) of acting as if there is anything wrong with their judgment and understanding. How hypocritical of us. We, too, once believed.
      That these couples are now venturing into this largely unmapped territory and podcasting about it is extraordinarily brave to me. How many others are there out there who would have benefitted from help navigating these waters? I guess theirs could have been another story of a family ripped apart because one spouse stopped believing.
      Honestly, I am overwhelmed enough with stories this week of how the Church has devastated families. This was a nice diversion to me of couples doing their best to make it.
      BRAVO to all of them, I am a particular fan of Tom’s “brave and excellent wife” whom I would like to hear more from.

      • nophables

        No question that this is a way of coping and is a net positive because sharing stories and emotions is positive and every couple and every relationship is a balance of net positives and net negatives.Sure I was once a believer so I can empathize with a believer, but a believer can never empathize with a non-believer because it takes them to a place that they can’t or won’t go. In my experience to allow even a token empathy causes retrenchment and resentment.

        • Tierza Rose Askren

          My husband is a believer and, though my leaving was incredibly hard for him – we have shared this journey together and he is my greatest ally and friend. He is the one who holds and comforts me when the church hurts me (he listened to a lot of ranting this weekend) and he is the one who watches out to make sure I don’t have to bend more than I am able. He’s the one who gets pissed off when my extended family attack me. In turn I do my best to honestly support and love him in his journey in the church. It isn’t easy at all – but being Mormon does not have to mean surrendering your brain, your imagination or your heart.

          • nophables

            The part that is hardest for me is it is difficult being wrong, all, the, damn, time. If the q15 say something its correct notwithstanding the level of horseshit it contains. I’ve listened to 3 of the 7 podcasts on the referenced web site and they are difficult to listen to.

            I feel judged and wrong at every turn because of the influence the church has in my house. I try not to judge but when someone I love is buying into crazy visions and “witnesses” where is the space for rational discourse?

  • Thomas Moore

    Unfortunately (or fortunately) the marriages and even engagements get destroyed by philosophies (whether of man or God) because too many forget the real reason they’re trying to convince the other…It’s because they love each other and don’t want the loved one to be hurt or to suffer.

    I’m ex-mormon so my point of view is going to favor the ex-Mormon or non-Mormon; but this is because of how I was raised/taught. We were strictly told to only marry other Mormons, and indeed leaders use to council wives/husbands to leave spouses if they became apostate. So this “struggle” to keep marriage/love in tact should be applauded because both sides are trying to destroy these relationships. Both Mormons and Exmormons will have arguments or examples of how “bad” and toxic these relations can become.

    George Q. Cannon–JoD V26; Disc 34: “God intended when He led Israel out of Egypt, that there should be no intermarriages between Israel and the nations which surrounded them, and a great many of the evils that came upon Israel were due to this. I may say, however, for the men of this Church, that there have been but comparatively few instances (probably because there have not been so many temptations for them) of their taking wives who were not of the Saints. They have not married strange women as did many of the Israelites, as did Solomon the wise king, which God gave to Israel. He married strange wives, and through these marriages he was led away into idolatry in his old age, and the anger of God was brought upon him and his house because of this. Many of the evils that fell upon Israel were due to intermarriage on their part with women who were not of their faith, and who were from nations who did not have the same worship that Israel had. Marriages of this nature are contrary to the command of God. We are commanded not to marry with those who are not of our faith, and no woman ever did it, no girl ever did it that has not sooner or later had sorrow because of this. God is not pleased with such marriages, and it is not in the nature of things to expect blessings to follow such intermarriages.”

  • nophables

    I’m in a mixed faith marriage just like these issues are very similar to what I am living through. I think the difference is that the men went off for two years to sell the mythology and the ladies never had to put their word on the line to total strangers making baseless claims. I just find it hard to be consistently wrong all the time because the church is right all the time. All this heartbreak and anger over a story about a dirt man and a rib woman completely, ridiculous.

    • highpriestinaspeedo

      I’m not sure that’s it. I’m also in a mixed-faith marriage and both my wife and I served missions. I think it has more to do with the differences in the YW and YM programs. The YM program places a heavy emphasis on doctrine and leadership development, while the YW program places more emphasis on service and developing social networks. I think that’s why the situation is more difficult when it’s the husband who disaffects. It causes a loss of social standing in the ward for the believing wife. It’s easier in many respects if the wife disaffects. The husband can still bless, baptize and ordain his children, plus he gets the side benefit of his wife switching to sexy underwear.

  • Malachi

    Tom: I think you mean American Chinese Food, cause the Chinese food in America is not real Chinese food.

  • Happy Hubby

    I don’t see a comment option on the http://unequally-yoked.net/ site, so I will leave a comment here assuming that Naomi and Neal will see it here.
    I have not only listened to this podcast, but all 7 of the ones from their website.
    What really hit me listening to these is that Naomi and Neal really love each other. It made very happy for them, but it made me realize how little I have of that in my marriage. And I have not come out much at all to anybody. My marriage is already cold and I feel my wife has always been judgmental. Many of the comments Naomi made I just can’t ever see my wife making. I am on the very edge of coming out about my disbelief in the church, but it is scary realizing I could lose my marriage (somewhat hard to handle as a past middle age balding guy). I could lose most of the relationship with my kids. I could lose most of my circle of friends. I could lose my house in the end. But I still feel like there is no way to keep living like this. Emotionally it is eating me up. I think my therapist is trying to beat around the bush, but I think he is saying I have to give it up and take the consequences.
    Enough moaning. I just wanted to say that Naomi and Neal gave me a small dose of hope that maybe my worst fears won’t come true.

    • Glenn

      This is hard for me to read because I remember being in a similar situation. A 17-year marriage, cold, very little mutual respect, very little admiration — it just felt like a prison — like I was chained to this thing I would never be free of. I stayed in it out of a sense of obligation, responsibility, and fear. But now, looking back at it — four-and-a-half years divorced (and 2 years remarried) I can tell you that I did not lost the love and respect of my kids. I did find love in a new marriage. And today I have a family that I am so completely comfortable in — I can be me without having to hide anything — and I chose this based on who I am now, not on who I was when I was fresh of my mission and 21 years old. Things have gotten so much better in ways I never imagined they ever could have. I don’t relish the position you are in, and I’m glad to hear you are speaking with a therapist. Keep that up. I am sorry for your emotional turmoil. I understand how it feels. I used to lie awake and the song “where can I turn for peace” would haunt me. There was no where at the time. But I got through it. It isn’t always easy, but it’s better. And once again, I’m sorry you are going through this. I understand how it feels.

      • jewelspice

        So glad you have found such happiness and love Glenn! And all.the best to you Happy Hubby. I hope things work out.

  • ART

    Thank you so much for this episode. I am a closet non-believer, trying to make it work for my wife. Hearing both sides of the issue from all 4 panelists is as close to catharsis as I will probably ever get, as my wife just hurts too much when I discuss what’s wrong with the church.

    It did embolden me to ask her to read and share how she feels about the children of gays policy, and I was relieved to hear her express doubts about it.

    Again, thank you for posting this – I even preferred the discussion to similar podcasts that Dehlin has done on the subject. You guys have such a wide range on this podcast, and it’s all great stuff.

  • Craig S.

    This was a great episode. Thank you all for sharing.

  • Seth L.

    Really loved this episode. There was a ton of good advice and hearing Naomi and Neal share their story was really touching.