I was purging an old email account of my saved messages and stumbled upon this one. This guy used to blog under the name of Remington, and had sent me an email asking for some advice as to how to proceed in his relationship with his girlfriend. Soon after I sent this response, he disappeared. No blog, no more email address. I wonder how things turned out for him.
I also wonder how my response to his queries would differ now that two more years have passed.
Wow. What a two years it has been.
In a perfect world I would be able to sit down and concentrate quietly and write out my thoughts in complete, cohesive sentences.
It is SO not a perfect world! My two crazy boys can only entertain themselves in 15 second stretches and there is always a movie going in the background. (today it’s alvin and the Chipmunks. quality cinematic masterpiece)
I had a chance to think about your questions yesterday while I was scrubbing toilets- a great time to think. Some of my answers will depend on your situation with this girl. If you are just testing the waters, you absolutely will pare back your answers- and the amount of info you give her. If this is moving toward marriage I would encourage you to be as honest, thorough and explicit as you possibly can without being offensive. Really, there is not too much information you can give her. There are so many misconceptions and stereotypes that will need to be sorted through. Even after Husband told me “I’m physically attracted to you. I find you incredibly beautiful. I am not sexually attracted to you. You don’t turn me on.” I still didn’t get it. I hoped that the promises that he had been given -that if he married a girl he would be healed- would just come true after the altar. Boy was I wrong, and it took me 13 years to acknowledge that.
I’ll take your questions as you posted them-
What were my thoughts when Husband disclosed his SSA?
Vivid memories of that night!!!
First of all, I pretty much knew. I wasn’t positive, but I was pretty sure. So when he was hemming and hawing that night and looking for the words to tell me- I knew. The next morning I went to the temple. I sat in the celestial room and just sobbed for over an hour. (The temple worker offered me water- she was worried I was getting dehydrated.)
I was sad. I was sad for the pain he had experienced his entire life, and what he would continue to feel for the rest of his life.
I was sad for the loss of my ideal life if, indeed, we did get married. (I was a month away from leaving for the MTC. I know. Nice.)
I was sad for the sins he had committed. He had broken his temple covenants.
I was sad because as far as I was concerned, homosexuality was an abomination. An abhorrent, dirty, ugly “condition” that was bringing the world down to Satan’s control.
I was so confused as to what to do with the love I felt for him. Up to that point, I had loved him freely, knowing that I would be going on a mission soon, and whatever happened after that would be the Lord’s will. After disclosure, I clung even tighter to him. If anyone was going to struggle through life with him, it would be me. If anything, his disclosure sealed the deal for me.. I didn’t realize it at the time- but it solidified the connection we had.
What should you tell her?
Tell her that you are sexually aroused by men. That you find women (her) beautiful and can appreciate them, but the real deal is found in the guys. Tell her that you didn’t choose this. Nobody knows why you feel this way, and nobody can change how you feel. The best you can offer is your choice of behavior. Tell her why you have made the choice to abstain from a gay lifestyle. Tell her what you have found within the church to support your decision and who you are. If marriage is in the works, tell her that you can promise to do your best, but that like in any marriage there are no guarantees. If the spirit moves you, tell her about some past experiences that illustrate your attractions. Give her some illustrations of how God has blessed you for your choices. Tell her about the pain and the anguish and the raw reality of your life.
You say that you have your SSA under control. That’s great! I absolutely know that you have done all of the “right” things as far as this is concerned. Please don’t think that you ever have a handle on this. It may be good now. But it won’t always be good. You know that. You cannot imagine what it feels like to be 40 with a high pressure, or unfulfilling job- a $3000 mortgage, colleges missions marriages to save for, kids tearing you away from your wife and wondering what it is all about. It is a typical scenario- Satan doesn’t have to be creative- You are tired and you skip scriptures- home teaching is a strain on the little bits of time you have with your family- you travel with your job and something so simple, so innocuous and unassuming comes in and grabs a hold of you and drags you down. You cannot be too prepared for this. You cannot be too careful. This happens to so many people who don’t struggle with the intensity with which you struggle. I’m pretty hyper about this subject. Many of my friends and I are going through this right now.
I too am appalled at much of what is written in the blogs. Husband has been really discouraged at the lack of positive “role models” in the moho blogosphere. Yours is one of the few that is positive and uplifting. Mine isn’t even positive and uplifting- I just try to remember that the blogs are where we vent the ugly private stuff. It’s more interesting to read! 🙂
I made some notes that I wanted to share with you, but they are on another computer that I don’t have access to right now- but as soon as I can, I’ll send them. I also wrote a blog post a while back entitled: what makes our MOM work. https://marriedtoamoho.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=98
You can read that for some ideas as to what might help you in your relationships. Husband and I have a very uniquely great connection which has propelled us through the darkest of darkness. Nothing can compensate for chemistry. 🙂 (even if it isn’t sexual)
This is probably WAY more than you were interested in- I don’t even know if I answered your questions. Hopefully though. . .
Ooh- I just remembered- another thing that helped me wrap my mind around the issue was that Mikeal made an appointment with his therapist at the time so I could have my questions answered and my fears quelled. He was an LDS therapist who worked almost exclusively with SSA clients. Very involved in Evergreen. Good man- helped a lot.
Enjoy your day today. I admire your strength. Keep up the positive. I’ve developed a real motherly concern for all of you young strugglers. I want you to be okay- or to at least have a place to feel loved. Even if you are only 8 years younger than me.