Get over it!

  • I’m married to a gay man.
  • He has not always been faithful.
  • We are celibate.
  • We live in a small town, thousands of miles away from family and familiarity.
  • I struggle with depression.

I’m tired.  The past few days have been difficult.  When I make out a list like this one, I can understand why.  And then I wonder what on earth I’m doing.

  • I have a husband who is supportive and encouraging, and who works very hard so I can stay home and care for us and our kids.
  • I have a firm faith in God and Jesus Christ.
  • New experiences are all around me.  I am living in a gorgeous part of the country with an ideal climate.
  • I am physically healthy.
  • I get to take a nap every day with #2 son.

And then I wonder what the big deal is.  Look at all that I have.  My life is so cushy.

Why can’t I just get over it?

Why, after TWO YEARS am I still hanging on to the infidelity like it was yesterday?

Why, after 14 YEARS can I not accept that Husband is gay?**

Why, after FIVE YEARS do I not feel at peace with my surroundings?

What am I doing wrong here?  I pray.  I fast.  I am constantly vigilant about my thoughts.  I study depression, meditation, nutrition, doctrine, parenting, wife-ing (I know, not a word. . .)  So WHY is it all just too much sometimes?  What am I not getting?

______________
I completely suck at friendships.  I know that I’m awesome- to me.   But I’m pretty much convinced that I’m not awesome to anyone else- and if someone else does happen to think I’m awesome, I don’t want to spend any time with them because they will undoubtedly figure out that I completely suck.  Anyone reading this who wants to protest this fact has either A) not spent a significant amount of time with me or B) been significantly let down by me in the past.

So, when a friend texted me to see if I would like to join her at the lunchtime fundraiser in town today, I automatically tensed up and tried to come up with excuses to get out of it.  But since I was already en route to said lunch, (with my steady date, #2 son) I couldn’t get out of it.  This woman is pretty awesome, with a mouth like a trucker and an attitude to boot.  I swallowed my tension and met her.  The self talk began: “Don’t be tense.  Don’t let #2 son lay in the street.  Don’t walk so slow.  Don’t bring up controversial subjects.  Be more fun.  Be more happy. . .”  Aside from the incessant rattling in my head, I was able to have a very pleasant lunch.  I do really well in large groups where there are people I am somewhat acquainted with.  “Oh, I love your haircut!  Have you met ____ ?  So good to see you!”  But navigating the crowds and making decisions with somebody else is just about more than I can stomach.  Thankfully this friend is not only independent and strong, but very kind.

The weather was beautiful- a bit chilly, but very sunny.  The food ranged from excellent to iffy, and it was okay that I didn’t like everything she liked, and vice versa.  Over the course of our hour, the conversation turned to her planning to sell her house in the spring and hopefully move by her family- about 100 miles away.  Without her husband.  Apparently she had an affair a couple of years ago, and her husband just can’t get over it.

Looks like I’m not alone.

So now I’m not only replaying every word of our conversation today and feeling sick that I said all the wrong things, I’m really upset that I may be losing one of the very few close-ish friends I have here, AND really bummed that she and her husband aren’t able to work things out after an affair.  I know.  They aren’t us.  But that news sure doesn’t help.

So- on we trudge.  Husband becoming more and more convinced that it is unhealthy for me to stay with him, and me becoming more and more convinced that I have to convince him otherwise- as in- GET OVER IT QUICK, BEFORE HE PACKS UP!

Is it naptime yet?

 

**This one isn’t really valid- I’ve pretty much figured it out.  For the first 12 years of marriage, I thought he was “heterosexual with homosexual tendencies.”  Every time he kissed me, I thought he was straight.  Every time we were intimate, I thought he was straight.  Every time he got all silly over Cameron Diaz, well, you get the point.  This “loud and proud” husband is still a relatively new addition to our relationship.

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11 thoughts on “Get over it!

  1. Mandi,

    You know how I have been feeling lately. I see similar patterns in what I am experiencing. Some of the depression and anxiety seems to be both situational and physiological. I’m taking steps to help remedy both. It is amazing to me though, how much the physiological can effect my mental state and quickly become debilitating. I’m working on my spiritual and physical well being. A therapist and my physician are working together to help with the physiological, and I’m feeling a difference already.

    I’ve found that if the physiological isn’t in check, the situational becomes impossible to deal with.

    I was the one unfaithful to my wife, so you may discount what I say about clinging to husband’s infidelity. I recommend calling my wife and asking her how she dealt/deals with our situation. I do, however, know what it is like to hold onto something that hurt me, withholding complete forgiveness. It is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It is a slow, painful, self-inflicted death. The atonement is big enough to swallow up any feelings you may be harboring.

    Holding on to negative feelings toward another can be a protection mechanism, shielding oneself from having to examine one’s own stark reality. It is easier to shift focus and attention to another than to deal with our own issues.

    I encourage you to lay your troubled heart on the alter of the Lord. It is too much for you to bear alone. Leave your heartache, and anything else that is damning your progress at the feet of the Savior and walk away. It may sound a bit cliche and overly simplistic, but in reality it is hard to do. Pride and fear often keep us from sacrificing our troubles to the Lord. In many ways the self-pity we feel becomes a security blanket that is hard to shake off.

    You are a wonderful and beautiful woman. You have a good man, who although has made mistakes, has chosen YOU. You have beautiful children.

    I know I’ve rambled a bit, and probably sounded preachy, but I truly care about you, husband, and your family. For your pity party, I recommend you and husband watch “Time Traveler’s Wife” together. Get the popcorn ready, snuggle up, and have a box of tissues close as you compare your real life situation to the one portrayed on the screen.

    Love you both,
    Bravone

    • Oh, yeah. On your recommendation, Husband bought that film when he was traveling a while back. He called me, sobbing and we made a “date” to watch it when he got back.
      It was HORRIFYING! We sobbed and held each other for hours! Thanks A LOT!
      I would be very interested to hear about what conclusions your Docs come to for you. After having been back and forth with so many medical professionals over the past 16 years, I have very little faith in finding an answer to my mental-ness- just many clues that help me manage day to day.
      I thought about calling your wife the day I wrote this. I’m just too hung up on not wanting to bug her. But that’s how I operate. 🙂
      love you too-

  2. Wow! You’re dealing with a lot. Hang in there, you must be a strong person to have made it this far. Give yourself credit for that!!

    As a gay man I may not be able to help you that much, but I’ve dealt with depression, and I’ve worked with a LOT of women! So I’ll try. 🙂

    I know a lot of gay LDS men who are trying to live the Gospel. Its not easy, as you know. The world SCREAMS that we should just let go, give in, and “be true to ourselves”. I can’t see how being untrue to God is being true to yourself. How can we put ourselves and our wants before His and claim to love Him? Sexual orientation is only a small part of our being, so why should it dominate and overshadow our entire existance? Yet this is what the world wants, and almost demands. Your husband had felt this, no doubt. Its powerful and tempting. No excuse for his unfaithfulness, but it is a pressure straight men don’t face.

    Depression – a serious disease. The thing that helped me most was doing things for other people. That seems to work every time, as long as I’m not too depressed to do it! LOL! No, really it does help. I try to stay VERY busy.

    OK, please don’t take offence at this next thought….Something I learned working with women is that there is truly a difference in their capacity to forgive as opposed to men. I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, I think its just a reality. Women “hold on”, whereas men more easily “let go”. Men can have a knock-down, drag-out fight one minute, then be best friends laughing and joking with each other the next. In general, we quickly forget and perhaps even forgive. Maybe this is a natural counter-balance to our more agressive natures. If males were not able to cool off quickly, we might be fighting all the time. Its a testosterone thing.

    Women, however, seem to hold onto things more and may have trouble letting go. I’ve worked with women who harbored animosity about some small incident for years and years. One day at work I was lamblasted out of the blue by a female co-worker over some tiny infraction that had occurred almost a decade before! I was dumbfounded! I could hardly remember what she was even referring to. I’ve seen several instances of this near “photographic memory for hurt”.

    So I think its natural for women to take longer to forget and perhaps even to forgive. Maybe its part of the maternal instinct to protect that makes it difficult to “let go”? I don’t know. I’m not an expert, just an observer. I think a lot of women who have been hurt go through what you are going through. I wouldn’t beat myself up over it, but at the same time I would actively try to get to the point of “letting go”. It doesn’t help to “hold on” – it goes nowhere. That’s been my experience.

    I wish I could say something profound to make it all feel better. I’m not profound. But I thought I should share my thoughts and experiences, and hopefully it will make a little bit of sense.

  3. Has it occured to anyone that maybe what Neal said is wrong? I mean we’re all going off the assumption that “living prophets” have revealed to us that God doesn’t condone “the gay” and that we need to avoid it and fit outselves into the straight mold. What if they’re not really prophets called of God? Maybe they’ve made a mistake and God is ok with who I am.

    I’m gay, Mormon and married too and it seem like the more I try to make my life fit what the church tells me it should look like, the more my wife and I are sad, depressed and unhappy. I’m starting to think that we should take the love we have for each other and redefine the boundries of our family and allow each of us to heal and find true love and happiness. This may also be better for our children.

    I know that this is radical in the eyes of the church, but what if what we’ve always assumed to be real and true, is only just another church run by …just people trying their best, but makeing serious mistakes and giving dangerously bad council on this delicate issue? I can’t dismiss this posibility.

    Thanks for letting me join the conversation.

    Sam

  4. Sam,

    What if they ARE prophets and what they say IS right? I think that’s what gaining a testimony is all about, isn’t it?

    I really don’t see where the Church is saying we have to fit a “straight” mold. I don’t have to marry a woman I’m not attracted to. They aren’t asking for that. They aren’t saying I’m evil because I’m gay. They say that doesn’t matter, we don’t know the reason, and its not something I chose. What matters are my actions. Are my actions based on what God wants me to do, or on my own desires and ideas? I think that’s the question we all have to ask ourselves. I’ve done a lot of the latter, and not enough of the former. I think we all eventually have to boil it down to these simple issues. Is it MY will be done, or THY will be done? We each have to answer that question alone.

  5. Neal,

    But who’s telling me what HIS will is for me? They’ve been very wrong in the recent past. We may just have to disagree on that point.

    I happen to think that there is an excellent chance that these are just nice old men with dillusions of inspiration. At what point am I aloud to believe the still small voice that I HEAR and that keeps quietly telling me that this love is not dirty, not an abomination? You would likely just tell me that Satan is trying to trick me.

    They told me to just serve a good mission, work hard and the gay would go away. Then they said to just get married and I’d see that I’d finally be straight because I’d have consumated my marriage to a woman. When that didn’t fix it, they said to get therapy from and LDS counselor and that would heal me. Meanwhile I’m 16 years down the road, I have 2 kids and my wife and I are in constant agony because of the divide between us. We never fight, we love each other and our children, but for some reason that does not make things ok. Not even close. I thought it was just me that was suffering, I’ve come to learn how damadged she is from all this. Her self esteem, her sexuality. It’s all in tatters. Of course I blame myself. In the shower this morning I prayed that I could just die in a firey car crash on the way to work or maybe have my head blown off in the crossfire during a bank robbery. It’s more dignified than suicie and no one who is left behind would have to deal with any shame.

    The church offers us little solace. How is it that they can “reveal” such marvelous and detailed things like the temple ceremony or deep doctrine like the plan of salvation, but they can’t figure out that I’m just born gay and I can no sooner change that than I can my own skin color. If I’m told one more time to just grin and endure it, I may explode. I feel happier when I consider my life free of it’s tenticles. I think my sweet spouse a I deserve to be sane, happy, healthy and sexually fulfilled. This is not how life was meant to be lived.

    Sam

  6. Sam, it looks like you need to find out what His will for you is. If it really is for you to leave your wife and find your bliss in a gay relationship, then by all means I deeply encourage you to follow that inspiration. Anything the Bretheren say MUST be followed up with prayer and confirmation by the spirit before you adopt it as truth in your life. It doesn’t look like that has happened for you. Don’t get upset at them for telling you to do something you don’t believe. You are responsible for your life, your actions, and your consequences good or bad. Find out. Really go and follow what your heart is saying. It sounds like you don’t believe what they are saying anyway, so lose the animosity and live your life the way you believe God wants you to.
    If you haven’t read him yet, go read youngstranger.blogspot.com. It may just blow your mind.

  7. Sam,

    I think you have some basic testimony issues, if you question whether the Brethren are inspired or not.

    To answer your question, why don’t the brethren know everything? Example – why didn’t Brighman Young get a revleation about Pennicillin? It could have saved countless lives? You could plug in just about any piece of knowledge or technology here. Why didn’t they know? Perhaps there’s a time and place for everything.

    And I think there’s a huge difference between doctrine and policy. Doctrine, like the Law of Chastity, is fixed. I don’t see that being repealed or changed do you? Policy is where I see the Lord allowing the Brethren room to fulfill their callings. And I don’t think the Brethren are given every answer. I think they are allowed to use their own judgement and experiment to some extent and to grow as people. They’re being tried and tested too, no? So I see policy changing all the time. Like the idea that gay people should marry a straight person and that will cure them. That was a popular thought at one time – and not just in the Church. Homosexuality was looked on as a mental disorder. People used to be counseled to do that, thinking living normally would make them “think” normally. Now, the Church says we should not encourage gay people to marry. Why? Because they have learned that this didn’t work. Why did they not know this in the first place? Maybe they didn’t ask. The generation of leaders at that time was trained to think homosexuals were mental patients, remember. Maybe they did not even enquire. Remember, we didn’t get the Word of Wisdom until Emma Smith complained so much to Joseph about the apostles spitting tobacco juice on her floor that he finally went to the Lord about it. Maybe the Brethren needed a bunch of us gays to complain enough that they started asking the Lord about this issue?

    I fully believe the Church is still growing and evolving. If it were already perfect, the Lord would have come again to claim it. How we live our lives is a personal decision, but I don’t think a lack of reveleation on a particular subject means there is no revelation at all. To me it reaffirms the fact that we all are in a probationary state, and all of us – General Authorities included – “come short of the Glory of God”. Will we become bitter and allow others to derail our testimony, or will we bear with patience “all the the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon us, even as a child doth sumit to his father”? I know its not easy. I wish you and your wife all the best in whatever road you take. But I think the road you started on is the best one, even if there are a few bumps and potholes along the way. 🙂

  8. Basic testimony issues?? Ya think? LOL. Who would blame me? I can sense the “well meaning” nature of your replies. I once felt the need to defend the church’s missteps and policy errors too. No longer. The simple fact is that these men offer policy and guidance to the trusting homosexual like myself and they never once say “Well, this is the best knowledge we have, go with it and lets see if it works.” SWK and BKP and others all the way down to local leaders who have authority to take against, including taking aways a Saint’s membership and temple blessings, all speak with a voice of promise. In the past they’ve offered authoritative answers to young men and women grappling with their sexual orientation and gender identity. Many many have suffered because of it, and some have even ended their lives because of it. That is a truth that no one should try to defend the chruch from. They’re just regular people, no conversations with God.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to hijack your blog. I must sound angry, but truely I’m just mostly sad and mildly despondent. We will make the right choice for ourselves and we’ll be fine. I’m greatful for the understanding and support I find on the net today. It helps me tremendously, especially this blog. I just get defensive when people try to hold the church up as a bastion of holy awsomeness, when in realyity, I think they have been responsible for some horrible things. I can understand one’s need to cling to “truth” when faced with desperate problems like homosexuality, I just want the world to know that they have hurt some of too, and they should know it.

    Thanks again for the exchange.

  9. Sam,

    I’m so sorry for your pain. I’ve had pain too because of leaders in the Church, but I have found a way to forgive. I hope someday you will too. But I wish you all the best – peace and happiness. God bless!

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