Sunday, February 1, 2009

More Advice For Yet Another Young Woman

Hi there, I'm an LDS gal actually living [abroad] right now. But roots in the states and in Utah and all. Anyways, several weeks ago, my boyfriend who is also LDS told me that he wonders if he's not gay. I had been pretty unhappy in the relationship for a while but it had been amazingly wonderful so I was holding out for something to change. I didn't understand why things had changed and when he told me everything just made sense. I truly did think that I was going to marry him and then.... bombshell. Obviously couldn't really talk to anyone that I knew about it because that would be betraying his trust. But the consequences of this for me have been a little more than I could handle by myself.

Since he told me initially we've had several really good conversations which brought things out in the open a little more. I learned that he doesn't think that he's completely gay but rather just that he notices attractive men and women. And that it started about a year after his dad ran off with another woman while he was a
teenager. But it's making things really difficult for him now. He's angry with his father and blames him.

Fear not, if any of you are about ready to jump up and yell "don't marry him!!" that's pretty far from my thoughts right now. I think that it could be a possibility for the very very very distant future but I'm not holding out for it and I know that we'll break up when I come back to the states. My concern right now is that I feel like I have a responsibility to help him. I really do think that there's a reason that God put us together right now. He doesn't have a whole lot of people in his life that care about him and the fact that he trusts me means that he's come a long way. He wants to make the right decision - he wants to stay in the church and have a family and all that but I think he doesn't know how to get to that point from where
he is now. And I think he feels pretty alone. I want so much to provide at least a happy aspect of his life while he struggles with this but I'm worried about getting pulled down too.

The story is a little more involved than this, but that's a good summary for now.

From what I understand you are a wonderful group and I hope that everything is going well for all of you! Any advice that you might have for either him or me would both be extremely welcome. Thanks, Laurie.
[Not her real name.]


As for my advice at present, it sounds like you are thinking pretty well. Just remember to take care of YOU. One commonality with all the men is that they slowly and I mean slowly they take your life away and take away who you are. Stay strong and keep yourself as number 1. Help but from a distance. Don't fall into that trap that he has no one. You are not responsible to take care of him and make it all better for him. Take care of you first. It is an awful place to wake up one day and realize that who you are is lost....very hard to find yourself again....ask the ladies.



How brave of your friend to be honest with you and with himself. He has more courage than so many of our spouses could find. That isn't, by the way, necessarily a criticism, it is more a sign of the times that so many of us experienced.

You're right, the abbreviated response from me will be, "Do not marry him." Period. End of discussion.

You can be his friend. He trusted you with something very special. He can never, EVER, be the kind of husband you want him to be. He can never, EVER, be the kind of husband that he knows you want him to be. Marriage is difficult under the best of circumstances. The reality of his sexuality is too much to ask of any couple.

He has a tough road ahead of him, being a gay LDS man. I'm sure he knows that in some ways. No one other than those who have lived it as a str8 LDS wife know what you can be facing.

Yes, you were brought together for a reason. I'll be very bold and suggest that the reason was NOT for you to be his wife.

This is a sequence of events that I would not wish on anyone. My children would agree.

Be his friend. Be his sounding board. DO NOT try to be his therapist. Go about distancing from him in a way that is healthy for you first. So many of us are "fixers". It is in our nature. I believe it is part and parcel to what made us appealing to our gay spouses. We go about our lives trying to nurture/mother/fix that which needs attention...often to our own detriment. We've been taught for too long that taking care of ourselves is somehow selfish, so we "do" for everyone else. It can be a slippery slope. I lost myself in my marriage. I lost myself in making "lemonade out of lemons." I wanted so desperately to improve upon the not-rightness in our marriage. I also wanted to be married. I was so good at it. In the end, the marriage died a slow and painful death and wanted to go the way of the marriage. Thirty years is a long time to live a one-sided lie.


You can count your lucky stars that you have found all of us, because we have gone the full gamut of knowing sometimes from the outset (like me) about our husband’s orientation and thinking that our love would conquer all. And for others finding out later and still discovering that no amount of 'working at it' or feeling that you were meant for each other, or we connect so well, or we just love each other to death will ever be enough for him to put this aside, because it cannot be put aside, or put up with, or changed. If anything as the years progress it seems that this only gets stronger and stronger for the men, until they feel they cannot do anything else but to act out, get divorced or stay miserable, trapped in a very unloving relationship which is unfair to both parties. So give yourself a huge present and find a completely heterosexual male - you do not need this problem ever in a marriage, there are too many others that are deserving to be worked on and that result in wonderful fulfilling years.

I agree with Patti that we are such fixers and this cannot be fixed, believe us, many of us have tried for as long as 25 years. You deserve and should be blessed with a wonderful YOU. Worry about yourself and finding that which gives you purpose and offers service in this world.

We care about you and hope you will find our harsh reality filled only with sincere love for you - no one should suffer the pain, anguish and hurt that we and our children have experienced because of this same-sex orientation, that results in a crisis of identity (for the men) and behavior that destroys family units.


cl2 said...

Do they all do it the same way? Wouldn't it be so much easier to just go out and find someone to love? My husband seemed to want the "dream" the LDS church offers more than I did--the home, kids, little picket fence. Do they always have to take a woman along for the ride? I heard the same kind of statements from my ex that this girl says her boyfriend used.

I'm not going to apologize to those who are still mormon--any gay needs to get away from the church. These marriages are doomed and, if they do stay together, they are in for a hell of a ride.

All this suffering--for what purpose? I do believe that my ex was brought into my life--so we together could figure out the church was a farce. Not only did I save him--he saved me. We walked away from the insanity that the LDS church teaches about gays. If for no other reason in the entire world that I now know the LDS church is WRONG--this one thing would do it.

cl2 said...

Is this where I left another comment about my husband saving me, too?

What I believe these days is that if we get these stories out in public and educate people (hahahahaha--like they'll listen--but some will), that gay men and straight women will come to realize they can be GREAT FRIENDS--that we can be empathetic, caring friends with each other as I think that we all need each other.

In my situation (26 years ago)--I had let the love of my life slip through my fingers because of mormonism. I had a lot of hangups and crazy ideas about relationships because of mormonism. I truly believe the only reason I got out of mormonism and learned to embrace the love I found 30 years ago (I had a lot of time to think before he came back into my life) is because of the gay issue. The church being true or not can live or die on this one issue--because whether we want to believe it or not, we were all used as lab rats.

The gay issue got me out of the church. So be it. I just hope it doesn't have to be that way for anyone else. Having this issue in my life has taught me a lot. I just hope the lessons don't have to be re-learned and re-learned because everyone continues to deny the LDS church is wrong on this issue. It is a travesty.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laurie,

The last thing I want to do is invalidate how you're feeling, because what you're going through is so very real. What I hope you realize is that your story is not unique. There are so many of us who have been exactly where you are.

I am sorry for your struggle, and I hope you find some peace through this blog.

Take care of yourself. You will get lost in your friends struggle because it is so big. His needs will always be bigger than yours, and unless YOU take care of yourself, you will be left behind.

He says now that he doesn't think he is completely gay. Remember that coming to accept his sexuality can take a very, very long time. This isn't something he wants. He is most likely lying to himself, and you will be collateral damage of that lie. He blames his father now, but eventually he will not be able to, and the truth will be that he is gay, and it's nobody's fault. It just is.

His attractions will only get stronger with time. Marriage will not make it go away or lessen. Not kids, not a loving wife nor a promise of eternal salvation will make them go away or keep them from growing. Even if he has some attraction for women, he will most likely(and probably already does) prefer men to women.

Laurie, it is not your responsibility to save him. There are support groups and others who can help him through this particular "trial", if that is how he decides to live, as a gay active Mormon. You have a life to live. Be his friend? Yes, of course. But do it carefully! Look at how much this has affected you already. You may only be beginning to understand the burden that it is to "keep his secret". That burden will only become heavier, and you will go down with it.

You tell us not to fear, that the thought of marriage is far from your thoughts. But you did mention that you consider the possibility of it in the future. I would normally be neutral and tell you only you know what is right, but I can't do it. I can't lead you into the fire. Please, please do not marry him.


cl2 said...

I agree with anonymous--I don't know if I made it clear--but I could have written this exact story 26 years ago AND IF YOU READ my journal from then, you would see the same ALMOST EXACT story (except maybe my ex's dad didn't run off with another woman--though maybe should have). I said the same thing about "maybe a long time in the future." You do get sucked into the secret aspect of it and you become codependent. This isn't healthy. You can't save him because HE DOESN'T NEED TO BE SAVED. He needs to learn to love himself just as he is--love him for what he is--GAY. It was the turning point for me and my ex. If you ask him to change or anyone does--you are denying a very basic part of him. What you are asking him to do is to cease to exist.

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