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Mixed-Faith Marriages

Most couples get married in their twenties. In Utah, the statistics show marriages occur in their early twenties, or even late teens for some women. Research suggests our beliefs change over our lifespan, including our religious and spiritual convictions. No matter the reason, it is extremely common for one partner (or both) to change their religious views over time. Because religious beliefs in Utah (primarily members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) require strict adherence, stress from a spouse questioning or leaving the faith can create tension and pressure on the relationship.

The irony is, LDS theology promotes the importance of the family, yet, when such stressors encumber the relationship, it’s the marriage that suffers at the hand of obedience or compliance. Many couples experience a form of betrayal, fear, or disruption of intimacy and connectedness. Some of my clients report the grief of losing the assurance of their eternal marriage, feeling the risk of an affair, substance use changes or experimentation, or other unwanted behaviors.

A faith transition, however, isn’t a predictor of the failure of the relationship. With time, support, and tools, couples often unify and strengthen their relationship. Couples find shared values and bond by moving into a space of curiosity, openness, and acceptance while also validating and “holding space” for their partner.

Wasatch Family Therapy is hosting a group for five couples currently struggling with a mixed-faith marriage. Group meetings occur each Wednesday starting March 3rd at our new address in Sandy. Couples will need to be interviewed (to make sure it’s a good fit) and will need to pay half upfront; the remainder billed after the eight sessions. Sessions are $75 per couple per session. This group will be a “process group”, where couples participate interactively learning about each other. The group will be facility lead by Jeff Lundgren, ACMHC, who works with many couples and mixed-faith marriages and families.

If you want to participate, please contact us at 801-944-4555.

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Free Printables: What NOT to Say (and what TO say) to a Loved One Leaving the Church

Free Printables: What NOT to Say (and what TO say) to a Loved One Leaving the Church

By Common Consent published my guest blog today about what not to say to a loved one leaving the Church. I’ve had a handful of requests for PDF printables of the lists in the article…so here you go!

What NOT to Say to a Loved One Leaving the Church (Printable PDF Download)

25 Things TO say to a loved one leaving the Faith(1)

What TO SAY to a Loved One Leaving the Church (Printable PDF Download)

25 Things Not to say to a loved one leaving the Faith(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Assertive and Authentic Communication After Faith Transition: Debrief Society Podcast

Assertiveness Faith Transitionstruggling to communicate authentically and assertively with loved ones about changes in your faith or religious participation you might enjoy this new Debrief Society podcast interview. Becca and I discuss my new book The Assertiveness Guide for Women  and how questioning your faith or leaving the religious tradition of your family of origin can indicate movement toward a higher level differentiation of self (the ability to be an individual while staying connected to loved ones). We also cover cultural barriers to assertive communication (for LDS women in particular),  how to deal with the silent treatment once you’ve talked to family members about your faith transition, how to “hold up the lantern” and invite others into the light of compassion and understanding.

Assertiveness Guide for Women

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When a Loved One Experiences a Faith Crisis

When a Loved One Experiences a Faith Crisis

Religion is a part of our culture and our identity, both individually and as a society. Sometimes, however, a person experiences a faith crisis (sometimes referred to as a faith transition) and chooses a different path. Studies show that 28% of Americans change their religious preference at least once in their lives, and the number continues to grow. This is an issue that hits the hearts and homes of many in our community, and can unfortunately be a source of great pain, confusion, and potential conflict in families. Here are some strategies to handle a faith transition of a loved one:

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