Annette Nay, PhD

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Considering Divorce
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright 1999

Dear Annette,

I am a recent convert to the LDS church. It took my husband a long time to accept my decision to become a member. I truly thought it was a miracle that he helped me quit smoking and even came to my baptism. But now, I am finding myself increasingly dissatisfied with him and our marriage.

I am a very different person now than when I met and married him. Our attitudes about family, influences to our children, marriage itself, are so different. I feel like I am holding myself back from involvement in the church because I fear it will only increase the distance between us. I am feeling like I don't want to be married to him anymore.

He is happy, but thinks I am going "overboard" when I tell him my attitudes about sex, marriage, etc. Also, he is an atheist, doesn't understand the Gospel and thinks it's all hogwash. I am not very happy. I would like to be married to someone who is LDS. Thank you for your insights.


Dear Recent Convert,

Many women stick with their man for years, being a good example of a good LDS person and just loving their husband and continually praying until he sees the light and converts. Some wait their whole life and their husband never converts. That is not the end of it though. Those husbands still may except the gospel in the spirit world. There is no surety of that though. If he didn't want to accept the gospel here, why would he want to there? Some husbands can be stubborn.

You state that you want a Celestial marriage and a Celestial mate. What's wrong in that?

This man at best can only be married to you for time. Your goals are now eternal and he is not in that picture nor does he want to be, by joining the church.

Even worse, he doesn't want you to practice your religion. To make this relationship a good one you need to change back to the way you were. This is not a good choice either.

You're right in that the more you improve yourself and get involved with God, the greater the distance between the two of you grows. You have to look at what you are gaining and what you are losing. You are getting closer to God and moving away from your husband. So it seems here you have to choose between God or your husband. From the tone of your letter it seems that you have already made your choice, and that is God. You state that you want to do so more fully, but your husband is keeping you from that.

Major Complications

  • Children
    • One is your children. Splitting up is so disruptive to their lives. Children tend to blame their own behavior for the divorce. Caring this guilt around can be very damaging. If you choose divorce, remember to:
      • Tell them both of you love them and will never leave them as you have left each other. The difference is they are your blood relatives. You could never leave them. This will have to be said often.
      • Another item that needs saying is that they did not cause the divorce. Just say that it was a difference of opinion that couldn't be resolved. Do not allow them to blame the Church for the divorce of you have lost them too.
  • Poverty
    • In general, women with children, who get divorced and get custody of the children sink to the levels of poverty. Many of these women seek jobs but do not have the skills to make the major bucks it takes to pay a sitter and for all the other expenses of life. Many are forced to quit and go on state welfare. Many LDS women seek church assistance when their own family cannot help. The church will assist only for the time it takes for the woman to gain employment. They will also help in the times that the employment is not covering the needed essentials. The education itself can be gotten through free governmental money given through the Pell Grant.
    • Child care assistance is available through the state but there is usually a wait list of 6 to 8 months and the applicant still has to have a part-time job to pay a portion of the day-care bill. This means that either the mother hardly sees her children for four years while going to school and keeping a part-time job to pay the daycare, or go on welfare assistance. Sometimes the mother's family can provide free daycare.
    • Many women depend on the Ex paying the court ordered child support and alimony. Many have come to see that the Ex pays it late, or makes partial payments, or do not pay at all. Some of these women have gone back to court to get a court ruling to garnishee the husbands wages. To do this the court has to know where the husband is employed to serve the papers to the employer. When this happens some husbands quit and get another job and the process starts over as soon as you can find out where he is employed. Some husbands leave the area or state to avoid paying alimony and child support and are never heard from again.
  • Single with Children
    • Marriage to a women with children is very difficult but not impossible. The prospective husband is not only marring you but all your children.
    • The children become resentful of their new stepfather for taking over the place of their father. Many hold the fantasy that their parents will get back together again. Therefore the stepfather has to work double-time to make things work out.
    • There is also the perceived but not meaning to slights and true slights that the stepfather may make against the children. These cause hard feelings between the stepfather and the children, between the couple, and between the children and the mother because the children wrongly perceive that the mother loves her new husband more then them. All these feelings need to come out in the open to be aired out and dealt with equitably.
    • For helps see: Blended.htm
  • Custody Granted to the Birth Father
    • Some Ex's sue the court for custody just to spite the mother, because he knows that is the way to hurt her the most. Some sue for custody because they truly love their children and want them with them. Many of these feel that they can better provide for the monitory and emotional needs better than the mother.
    • Boys from about age 5 to adulthood need their father or a good male role model to see what being a male means. Girls need there mothers of a good female role model to become an emotionally healthy female. The courts take this into account when they award custody.
  • Few Good Men Available
    • More bad news: Right now there is a glut of single women and very few single men. Most of the good ones are all taken. Currently to get a good man you have to wait for his wife to die. The good news is that most LDS women do not take care of themselves and are dropping like flies.
  • Visitation Rights of the Non-Custodial Parent
    • At the time of the divorce the courts will stipulate the rights of the non-custodial parent. Depending on what the court has excepted as truth about the non-custodial parents mental stability and or violent nature, the probability of parental kidnapping,, proven issues of child abuse or molestation the court will decide what if any visitation rights the non-custodial parent has.
  • Parental Kidnapping of His/Her Own Children
    • This happens all the time and continues to happen because the non-custodial or custodial parent cannot tolerate the limitations and/or stipulations the court has put on their ability to have access to his/her children. Many of these children are never found.
    • These children lead an unhealthy nomadic and paranoid lifestyle. Whenever the parent feels there is danger they uproot the children and start again somewhere else. The parent and the children are often assume aliases so they cannot be tracked by the law. Not having school records in the child's birth names cause many of the moves. The parent will try to keep the child in school as long as possible without school records but when the school refuses to keep them for lack of records, they move on.
  • The Rights of the Ex's Grandparents
    • The children and ex-grandparents have the right to see each other. When this tight is withheld many grandparents have gone to court to have the court legally define their rights. Whether visitation is voluntary or court ordered there are still hard feelings of them against you. It is another piece of the picture to consider.

Assignment 1

  • Just to make sure that you are doing the right thing you should run your decision past God. I wouldn't make a move on something this important without consulting Him.
  • Should you stay in this marriage?
  • Take a piece of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle of the sheet making two columns.
  • On the top of the first list write "Pro's." These the positive things about the issue.
  • On the top of the second column write "Con's." These are the negative things about the issue.
  • Ask the Lord to help you list all the items dealing with this issue. Now, list all the items about the issue under the appropriate column.
  • Ask the Lord to help you to understand the importance of each item listed by assigning it a fair numeric value. Giving an item a "ten" means that it is of the utmost importance. Assigning it a "one" means that it has little or no importance. A "five," of course means, that it is middle of the road; not extremely important, but not unimportant either. Now, assign each item a value.
  • Add up the numeric value of each item, in each column, to see which has the most important items listed. The one with the higher value means more to you and should give you your decision. Now that you have studied it out in your mind Ask God if you decision is correct.
  • A "Yes" answer is a burning of the bosom or a warm swelling feeling in the chest area and/or accompanied by a feeling that all is well or right.
  • A "No" answer is a stupor of thought or a dull cloudy feeling in your head. Your thoughts are hard to hold on to or disappear. See Moroni 10: 4-5: ". . . and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, He will manifest the truth of it unto your, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."
  • Now ask the Lord to help you do what you must to put your decision into work. This may take a great deal of planning. Do your planning now with the Lord.
  • Then actuate your plan and put your decision to work. See James 2:20 ". . . faith without works is dead.

Assignment 2

  • Have God with you through out your day as a companion.
  • You may not find an LDS Eternal companion in this life, but good sisters who pass on to the next life without companions will have an opportunity to gain one later. What you have to worry about is companionship in this life. Many sisters have found a true companion in the Lord. How do you go about having God as your companion through out the day? Just make Him your friend.
  • How do you make a close friend? Do you talk, share confidences, go for walks together, cook together, cloud-watch to look for shapes, and laugh and cry together?
  • Do the things that I have suggested above and more. Make your God someone who you can and would want to go to for any reason, just to be near Him, because you have come to love Him so much. So much so that you can't stand to be away from Him because it would break your heart.
  • Note: As you know, all prayers do not have to take place on your knees. A pray can be only a thought away.
  • Divorce with children is an awful situation for everyone. Having a healthy lifestyle as a single parent with children is very difficult especially for a women. Remarriage with children involved is difficult also.
  • If you opt for divorce make sure that you have the Lord's support. He can make up the difference if you have Him as your companion through out the day. Help your children to seek Him also as their companion to be with them for the whole day. With that kind of help in your family, you can make it through.


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