Monday, September 15, 2008

Laurie's Story

My story started about 3 years ago, well maybe 4. My husband had just started back to school, and I was so excited for him to start his new career. To give a little background, we met in high school and I knew he must be mine. I fell in love with him at an instant. We were both dating other people at the time, but my heart was taken.

We graduated and I became pregnant and married my son's father. It was an abusive relationship. After a year, I knew I had to leave my first husband. I decided to tell Brad how I felt. I went to his work and invited him over after he was off work. I told him how I felt. I told him I loved him since high school, and WHAMMO, we started dating. We dated for 3 years and were married in September of 1995. We had 3 other children together, among those were a set of twin girls. Life was great. We were both active in our [LDS - Mormon] ward, He was Elders Quorum President, Financial Clerk, Primary Teacher, Sunday School Teacher. I was happy.

HELL BROKE LOOSE. When my husband decided to go to school, I noticed he was gone alot. Got to the point that he would stay at school all night. As he was accomplishing his goal, I felt me and my children were left behind. Oh, he had good intentions, but he just wasn't acting himself. Well, I had made an appointment with my bishop for us to get counseling. As I waited for my husband to come out of the office, I had so many dreams for myself. Living the life I dreamed about when I was a little girl. He came out in tears. I asked him what was wrong, he told me he had same sex attraction. OK, I can deal with that... Or so I thought...

He started to go to a really good counseling group for people who had this. The people he met were amazing. We would talk about it, I would try and understand what he was going through. YEAH RIGHT. As we went through the next couple years, it got worse.... As we talked I told him, I would be fine as long as you don't cheat on me. WRONG.... I found out by finding a card that said where you could get AIDS tests. NO WOMAN SHOULD HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT. My heart had been put in a blender and put on full speed.

This man I loved, that took me for better or worse, was NOT who I knew. But we stayed together. I thought we could be the "couple who could make it." This was about the time I found out about WILDFLOWERS. I finally had someplace that I could bring my troubles, and people would actually understand. Oh, my friends tried, but what do you tell them? It's OK, I'll survive. I found lifelong friendships through this group. It was around this time also, that I found out my husband was looking at Gay Pornography. I could not believe how quickly he was pulled into all that confusion. It finally got to a point to where I had to kick him out and say, "you are not healthy, you need help." At first I was really angry and would not talk to him.

After about a month of being separated, my husband had come to my house drunk and had taken some medication. We had to take him to the hospital, and we found out he tried committing suicide. He had actually convinced himself he'd be better off dead. I only bring this up so people can see what an impact SSA can have on someone. We had our family prayer at the hospital and he came to. I was very angry, confused, frustrated, sad... you name it, I probably felt it. How could this man do this to me? But as I listened to others situations, and learned more about SSA, my heart just went out to him and to others that feel this. It's a real feeling.

As the year went on, I learned it's not good for me to be angry. WHAT PURPOSE DOES THAT SERVE? We are now to a point to where my husband has disclosed many occurrences that have happened throughout the last couple years. Yes, we are still married. I have searched my soul, and beliefs, and yes I have prayed about it. I don't feel I need to not be with him. I can see it now, your eyes open wide and thinking "this girl is crazy." Well, crazy it may be, but I see people differently than others. I see this man who struggles day by day, wanting to have that feeling gone, but he's learning to love himself as a child of GOD. He's seeking counseling currently for his sex addiction and his pornography issues. Will we stay together? Who knows. It's not about that for me. For me it's about seeing the man I love get the necessary help he needs, so that he can help others who go through this as well. If there's anything I want to share it's this. GOD has a strong love for everyone. Whether it be for a gay man, or a lesbian, or a drunk, or someone who's addicted to drugs, it's not our place to judge. Life is too short to be angry. I do my best everyday to share that message to others whenever I can.


cl2zip said...

I just wanted you to know I don't think you are crazy. I did it, too. I stuck it out for a while--until he left me--but we are still friends now. I agree--the anger was eating me alive and damaging my children, so I chose to let it go. He has finally risen to the occasion and is a good dad and "ex" husband.

We're here for you--whatever your decisions are.

Nobody quite knows what it is like to have been married to someone gay until they've been there. It is a very unique experience.

cl2zip said...

Oh--and check out the blot for "epiphany, mixed orientation marriage" that is referenced here.

Anonymous said...

I believe, in this "day and age," a large percent of women can say they have dealt with the exact same emotions- maybe not caused by same sex attraction- but by porn or cheating.

Sexual deviance covers a broad spectrum caused by a complex myriad of childhood and adolescent developments. But the root of all deviant behavior (acting on evil tendencies) is pride- pure and simple. And that pride, when leaked into a man's sexual views, has the same affect whether it's manifestation is reaching out to men outside the marriage, other women, porn, or masturbation.

I can't believe how similar our stories are.

I just wanted to let you know that women who have dealt with just as much are sticking by their husbands, who are also trying to overcome their selfishness. (Which is key- I hope anyone out there who didn't stick it out doesn't feel I judge them harshly. I know there's a fine line between salvageable marriage and not- God only can judge.)

I'm one of those who don't think you are any kind of crazy, and know just how strong and faithful you really are.

I wish I didn't have to post anonymous, but for the sake of my husband, I'm pretty discreet with my story.

Anonymous said...

I was married for 26 years. I knew something was seriously wrong, but must have been in denial. I was blamed for the marriage problems when at the end it was his guilt that tried to push the attention away from him. Only through miracles from GOD did I find out the truth. We were a normal LDS family. My husband had many affairs with men. To this day - he is not openly gay to his 4 children - 3 of them are adults now. His parents don't even know what happened, when I had to decide to leave him. It was the lies that I couldn't stand anymore. I don't judge him - I do feel very sorry for him, but as all of you know - it is a very painful experience to be in a relationship like this -especially when we have to live in a closet. I had to get out - and it was the right thing to do for me and my family. It has been and still is an amazing experience. I am learning and healing every day. I yet have to find a story like mine. Most men eventually will come out and will be honest. In a way it would have been better for everybody - I am not sure. I still try to raise my 11 year old boy. His father lives far away. Someday he will ask me questions.
I have tried to find a support group - I appreciate reading other stories and feel a connection - still - I haven't found one like mine - that somehow makes me feel even more alone in my situation. I cannot say - like you all do -that my husband is a good father. He doesn't visit much and if he does - he stays for a very short time. Then it is a painful experience for my children - because there is never an honest discussion. Its all superficial.

I learned a lot as well and would love to help and show compassion to those who need it. Its all so very complicated.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous married for 26 years.

I believe Satan's greatest tool is making us feel like our problems are unique, and therefore we must find some unique way of dealing with them, when really there is nothing the Lord has asked any of us to live that is more than we can bear while remaining obedient to what he has asked of us. We're all living a "semi normal life."

Why is it complicated?

You are older and more experienced than me. But maybe this is like a situation where you've been staring so long at the crossword puzzle, all you need is a fresh pair of eyes to see the missing word.

Ask yourself. WHY do you have to live in a closet? So you won't be embarassed? If this closet is stifling your spirit, then you need to get out. Ask yourself: Are you afraid of what men think, or what God thinks.

Maybe what this world is missing is people like you. Who have compassion, and a first-hand knowledge of the pain caused by the sin of homosexual behavior.

The atonement isn't just for the sinner. It's for you, too. It is for understanding and succorring our pain.