Gluby and I had been married for 16 months when I finally pulled it out of him that he was having doubts. I knew something was up because he was always upset, angry, or aloof after church or “fulfilling” his calling as the ward mission leader. One day after church I sat down at the table and basically said, “hey, I know something is bothering you and I want to know what it is. You are always upset on Sundays. Why?” He said nothing was bothering him, he was ok, he was fine. I said, “No, you are not fine. I can tell something is upsetting you. Please tell me. Please talk to me.” He was silent for awhile and then he said, “I have been having some doubts about the church.”
My stomach dropped to my feet and my heart started pounding. In my head I minimized it by saying that these must be just regular doubts that everyone has and everything will be ok. It’s just a bigger deal to him because he’s only been a member for 2 1/2 years and this must be the first real trial of his testimony. I asked him what his doubts were about. He said that he didn’t want to tell me in case they caused me to doubt. I, of course, was above doubting enough to cause real problems, so I urged him to tell me. He again stated his worry about causing me to doubt. At the end of the discussion we both felt like this was something he could overcome by reading, praying, fasting, and continuing to go to church. I also felt he should go talk to the bishop about it to maybe get a blessing or answers to his questions. He didn’t get along too well with the bishop so he felt uncomfortable doing so. I, of course, “knew” that whatever differences they had would melt away as the bishop followed the promptings of the Spirit to help him. But, I didn’t push the issue because I also knew Gluby needed to want to go.
The next 18 months were a roller coaster ride. We felt hope, Gluby even had what I considered to be a spiritual experience where he “definitely” felt the Holy Ghost and I thanked Heavenly Father for giving him that to help him overcome his doubts. I knew that we were back on track. But he still struggled with so many things, very few of which he felt comfortable telling me. He didn’t want anyone to know, and we both felt things would straighten out soon, so we didn’t tell anyone.
This period of time was very difficult because it seemed every time we took a step forward we took 5 steps backward. I started to fear he would become “inactive” someday. I subconsciously felt the need to become a super Mormon to make up for his doubts and to be an example to him to help him overcome his doubts and to get blessings in heaven so God would bless him with a testimony and to bring an extra special spirit into our home and and and and and……
I did everything extra mile because I knew we would be blessed and that if I just lived worthily that he would be ok. Or, if he did become inactive, that he would eventually come back. Then he read a quote by Brigham Young condoning the slavery of blacks. Then President Hinckley basically stated his support for war after September 11. Then he went in and talked with the bishop. I vacillated between believing that God was giving us these trials because we could overcome them and believing that Satan was putting these things in front of him and that all was lost. That Satan was out to get him and he was winning.
I remember when Gluby left for the appointment with the bishop that I felt lighthearted and hopeful and I just knew things would improve. I was happier and more hopeful than I had felt since he told me over a year earlier. When he came home I was dumbfounded. Gluby was angrier than I had ever seen him before because of the way the bishop had treated him. I will let Gluby write more about this if he wants to, but the parts that stick out in my mind are that the bishop kept asking him if he was living the law of chastity and then asked him if he ever left would he be able to leave the church alone. He was livid that the bishop would accuse him of having an affair or looking at porn and have that be the reason he had these doubts; that he must be sinning otherwise he wouldn’t be having these problems. And then not believe him when he told him he was living the law of chastity as to ask him this question three times.
My hopes were crushed. I was angry that the bishop had treated him that way and I was angry that he had acted in a way that had pushed Gluby further away. Why hadn’t the Spirit prompted him to say things that would help Gluby? We were both doing everything we could and yet nothing was changing or improving. Was I not righteous enough to be a good influence on my husband to help bring him back? What was I doing wrong? I was so confused, hurt, angry, helpless and hopeless. And I couldn’t talk to anyone about any of it.
Cross posted here.