Friday, November 28, 2008


My husband feels like the Church has controlled his whole entire life. From the time he was born, it was very clear what was expected of him, baptism, mission, college, marriage, kids, accept callings, serve others, etc. As he has come out, he has began to resent all the control he felt from the Church, specifically belonging to a church that did not accept him for who he was and tried to tell him that what he felt is inherently wrong. He tried to be good, he tried to do everything that was expected of him, but he just could not reconcile his homosexual feelings and the Church.

About two years ago as he began to stop suppressing what he has felt all his life, he began to develop an “F--- You” attitude toward everyone and everything in his life. It was his way of rebelling against the control he has always felt. Unfortunately this spilled over into our marriage. He did not want to be accountable for his time, or his money. He felt both were his to freely spend. If I ever questioned how he spent time or money, I was accused of being controlling. If I needed something from him, usually his time, frequently I was met with a “do I have to?” attitude exhibited from teenagers. I finally determined the guilt trip he gave me for asking anything of him was not worth it and stopped asking.

In many ways he is just like a teenager. I have read on other blogs about once you first come out going through a homosexual adolescence. I firmly believe that is what is happening right now. For the last year I really have felt like I am living with a teenager.

Sometimes I question the decision to separate and wonder “Do I just need to have more faith, and he will work through this?” But then I look at his actions and how hurtful they are to me. I know he does not intend to hurt me, and that he is hurting too, as he struggles to accept who he is. Again just like a teenager…they hurt you, and never intend to, its just they are so caught up in trying to determine who they are. I look at how miserable I have been and how it has affected me as a women, as a mother and as a wife, and I know for now I can’t stay…..

He now has his freedom to come and go as he pleases, except for the time he has committed to the kids. He has his freedom to spend his money on anything he wants, and overdraft HIS account. What he is quickly finding out is that freedom comes with a price. He goes home to an empty house, with no children to great him, no wife to ask how his day was, no dinner prepared, no noise in the evening of the children playing, no children to tuck into bed, no wife to kiss good night. He sits in his bachelor pad, designed by him, on his cream colored couch, watching his big screen TV, with his new sound system, drinking out of his $10 Pottery Barn glass, reading a book on cooking, architecture, or any other similar subject that interests him, knowing he can do anything he wants, he is free, but is he? And at what cost?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Out of the closet.

My new closet space. Believe it or not this is only shows about 60% of my clothes!

After my husband came out of the closet, he literally moved out of our closet. Now I am, and always have been a clothes horse. There was full disclosure to my husband before we got married about my clothes buying tendencies and he knew that every month I was going to buy some new clothes, and agreed he would not prohibit me.

For me there is something about wearing a new outfit that makes me feel good about myself. But I also can’t wear a new outfit unless I got a steal of a deal on it. That is part of the fun for me, the hunt for the bargain. So while I have a lot of clothes, I don’t spend a TON of money, not even close to what my husband spends on his personal stuff. I also like mixing and matching stuff and an outfit is never complete without accessories. In college I once went and entire semester without wearing the same outfit twice. Definitely some pieces of my wardrobe got worn twice but in a new combination. So you can see it is a sickness I have had for a long time…

I am sure part of it relates to all my body image issues, see earlier post, but I honestly like looking good. I rarely leave the house without makeup on and I try to avoid the “frumpy” mom look. Admittedly in the area I live there are a lot of “Barbie” moms so there is also a certain pressure to fit in. (It always amazes me that even as grown women we revert to how we acted in high school and the insecurities from high school sometimes never seem resolved, Although “Barbie” mom aside, clearly I have had my clothing and body image issues for years, so living where I live did not cause the problem, only contributed to it.) I also have to have a lot of clothes, because I have a professional career where I have do dress a certain way, then there are my church clothes, and finally my every day mom clothes.

As a result there has never been enough closet space for me. I will say that while I do buy a lot of clothes, I also purge my closet frequently, and I don’t hang on to everything. With my husband’s coming out and moving out of the closet, suddenly it freed up more closet space for me. Re-organizing my closet was one of the first things I did when he moved out. Suddenly my clothes that had been squished together now had more room as they expanded out. I could more easily see what clothes I had. I discovered articles of clothing I had forgot about. And realized I needed to stay out of the mall for a while, because I really do have an obscene amount of clothes and shoes.

I honestly dress well because I want to. I generally don’t dress to impress other women, or other men, I dress to help me feel good about myself and my body. My husband has always known how important clothes are to me, yet probably only 5-6 times a year would he comment on anything I ever wore. I swore I could go naked and he would not notice. However had I been a naked guy that might have been a different story….. It has always been hard for me that I rarely got validation from him that I looked nice, when it was so important for my self esteem to look nice, and even more important to have the person I love notice. Just once it would have been nice to hear “You look HOT today.”

Well at least I have more closet space.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I have had body image issues all my life. It of course started with my mother. If you ever met my mother you would wonder how the two of us are related. (FYI, my mother passed away 18 years ago, so your chances of meeting her, at least in this life, not so good.) My mother was 5’8, 130 pounds, dark brown hair, no boobs, (she was an A cup) and big hips. Me 5’3, more pounds than I care to have at the moment, blonde hair, big boobs (let’s just say I am a healthy D and it is natural), and no hips at all. In fact I have to buy my jeans in the junior section because all the jeans in the women’s department are too big in the hips. I carry all my weight in the middle, my mother carried hers, or rather what little she had, in the hips and legs.

For as long as I can recall my mother was obsessed about her weight, to the point she really wanted liposuction. As you can see from reading my description of her, she was not heavy in any way shape or form, unless you go by Hollywood standards, which I firmly believe encourage more body image issues and unhealthy behavior by young girls than just about anything else in our society. Since she was obsessed with her weight, naturally she was obsessed with mine.

As a child I was not skinny, but I was not “fat” either. I was on the chunky side, but in comparison to what you see in kids today, I was fine. However if you had asked me as a child about my weight, I would have told you I was FAT, because that is what my mother told me on more than one occasion. She always wanted me to lose weight. She didn’t understand that I was built differently from her and that I would never be a size 4, 6 or 8. She did not accept me for who I was. She always wanted to change me, into what she thought I should be.

As a result all my life I have felt FAT, regardless of what I weigh. Admittedly my weight has gone up and down over the years, in fact after she died, I lost a TON of weight, probably subconsciously as revenge against her. To this day I still keep a pair of jeans from that time because they remind me how skinny I was. But again if you had asked me at that time, I would have told you I was FAT.

Today I will still tell you I am FAT. Reality, yes I honestly do need to lose a few pounds. I have 25-30 pounds of emotionally eating from the last 4-5 years that I need to lose. The good news, as soon as we made the decision to separate, the brain chip in my head that causes me to emotionally eat, just “turned off.” It was literally like someone flipped a switch and turned it off. I have gotten back on my treadmill, although not a frequently as I should, but overall I am battling my weight issues, better than I have in a long time.

When I think about my body image issues, and the tape that repeats over and over again in my head telling me I am FAT, I wonder if it is akin to the tape that runs in my husband’s head about being homosexual? My mother never accepted that my body was different from hers, and my husband feels that people, specifically those in the Church, as well as family members, don’t accept that he is different from them. He also struggles with issues related to his biological father, who never accepted my husband for who he was. He never measured up to the standards of manliness his father pre-determined were acceptable. Is his longing for these close male friendships a reflection of the rejection he suffered by this father as a child? Are we batting the same demon in a different form?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Always running.

For as long as I have known my husband, (its hard to break the habit of calling him that, and technically we are still married) he has been running, I don't mean in the literal sense, but rather figuratively. For him it is always about the destination and never about the journey, and once arrived at the destination, it then becomes about the next destination. The road to the destination always has to be the fast lane, and no bathroom breaks are allowed.

It used to annoy the hell out of me, and in fact it still does. For example last week-end we took the kids out to a restaurant for my birthday, and we had about two minutes to look at the menu before he wanted to order. We ate, and no sooner had the last bite gone into the kids mouth and he was seeking the waiter for the bill. There was no reason for us to be in a hurry, we had no where to go, no deadline to meet, the kids were well behaved. I have never sat in a restaurant with him and just enjoyed a leisurely meal. When we go to extended family's house for dinner, he wants to leave as soon as dinner is over with and is uncomfortable just sitting and visiting. Of course he hate parties, unless he his hosting, and can be busy the whole time and not have to interact with people.

There is a park close to our house and during the summer I like to take the kids there after dinner and let them play. Very rarely did he ever go with me. It would have been impossible for him just to sit and enjoy watching the kids play. He has a difficult time relaxing and enjoying the simple things in life. Everything needs to be grand and expensive to be worth anything.

I know it sounds like he has AAHD, but he is capable of spending hours playing a video game or talking on IM with his friends.

It recently struck me that perhaps he is running from himself. If he does not have to stop running then he does not have to examine what is working in his life and what is not, hence facing difficult realities. I am sure a significant portion of it has to do with being gay, and not wanting to admit it to himself or others. Even now he is out of the closet he still has a difficult time accepting that is who he is. He still wants to live in both worlds, or at least have the benefit of both worlds, without the cost of either one.

It is also running from social situations. On the computer he can hide, or at least control was is revealed about him. I think in social settings he runs because if he stops long enough someone might either form a bond and get close to him, and intimacy scares the hell out of him, or realize he is gay and judge him.

I know hiding who he is for the last ....( lets just say its been a few years, but not a whole lot of years) has been emotionally very hard on him. He has been pretending to be something he is not, in a world and culture that devalues what he is. He believes since coming out he has now become an "authentic" person, and he is becoming who he really is, yet he still runs....still seeks, still wants....

In many ways it makes me sad. He is chases rainbows, hoping for that pot of gold, he always looks around the corner to see what might be ahead, he always thinks pastures are greener on the other side, he knows somewhere out there is the magical answer for what will make him happy. Yet if he were to slow down long enough he might realize the happiness he seeks is right in front of him in the form of a wife and children who love him and only want his time and attention.

Sometimes the slow lane of life is good....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The victim

My husband says I play the role of a martyr, well if that is the case he plays the roll of the victim. NOTHING is ever his fault, he always has someone or something else to blame. Now that we are apart I am beginning to see this even more clearly. He came over to my house to drop my daughter off after picking her up from dance. I asked how his writing project was going. The day before was a Sunday and since he is no longer active in the church he had all day to work. What did he do, NOTHING. He blamed it on writer's block, which I know writers get blocked, I do a lot of writing for a living and there are days when it flows and days when it does not, but regardless I sit and write and generally after a period of time it starts to flow. He will not even attempt unless he feels he is in "flow." And he lets ANYTHING distract from him in being in flow.

Needless to say when he came to my house he was in a "pissy" mood because he was not meeting his deadlines, hell, he was not even trying to meet his deadlines. It was the fault of the church, because if he had not been told all his life that being a homosexual was wrong, he would not be suffering as he is now. And if he were not suffering now he would not have writer's block.

I have to say I was really glad when he took his negative energy and left. I am just now beginning to realize how much his negativity affected me. It has always been like walking on egg shells around him. If I am going to say ANYTHING remotely critical I have to say it at the right time in the right manner, and even then who knows how he will take it. I was never really free to express how I felt, because it was usually turned around to be my fault or my problem. Over the last few years I just quit saying anything because it was just easier.

Now living on his own, he is running out of people and things to blame for his problems, aside from the church, which is currently the root of everything that is wrong in his life.

Monday, November 17, 2008

First week-end at Daddy's

When my husband and I first began to discuss the issue of our separation and how we were going to divide and conquer so to speak, we had decided he would have the kids every other week-end. As time drew closer to our actual physical separation, I could tell how hard it was going to be for him to loose that daily contact with the kids. I suggested that he have the kids every weekend beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Friday and return them to me by Sunday morning so I could take them to church. He really like that idea. It was just kind of on a whim that I suggested it, and I had not really thought it through. After it came out of my mouth and he said "great" I begin to think of the implications for me.....

ALONE every week-end. In the 7 1/2 years since my oldest child was born I have never had that kind of alone time. It scared the crap out of me. Which ironically is what was also scaring my husband, how much time he would now find himself alone, once we separated. I called my dad hysterical, wondering what I had just done. He attempted to calm me down, and I did feel better after I got off the phone.

I am a list maker, so naturally I decided to make a list of all things things, and projects I could do without my children underfoot. I discovered that I had a very long list of things I have wanted to do for 7 1/2 years but not been able to because of being a mother to small children. All of the sudden those ALONE week-ends did not seem so alarming, and instead seemed very appealing.

Several weeks ago was the first week-end the kids spend at the new house with their dad. I went over on Friday night, and helped my husband unpack, because the movers had been at my house all day moving stuff out. I wanted both my husband and my children to feel settled in the new house. I know it seems silly, and a lot of my friends don't understand why I would still even be speaking to him, much less helping him unpack his stuff, but the fact remains I still love him, I care about him and I know this is just as hard on him as it is on me. I need him to feel settled, for my piece of mind, as well as to be a good dad for my kids. My job as a mom will be a lot easier if he is involved in their lives and has some degree of contentment. I left late Friday night after unpacking numerous boxes and making a run to the grocery store for food my children would eat.

Saturday morning found me sleeping in until 10:30 a.m.!!! A real treat for me. Actually I was woken up my his calling me asking if he could stop by and get another pair of PJ's for the 18 month old. Here was his morning: No sleep the night before due to the 4 year old who refused to sleep anywhere but with daddy, kids up, fed, bathed, and dress by 9:30 a.m. because they had to be out the door to ensure my 8 year old made dance practice by 10:00 a.m. While he was attempting to get the kids ready, the 18 month old dumped a bowl of coco pebbles she found unattended on the table all down the front of her PJ's, hence the call to me, and in addition she ate 2 tubes of Chapstick, and went on a search and destroy mission throughout the house. His comment to me was "Boy she gets into everything!" I replied "Yeah, I know" while inside I was secretly laughing, because I guess he thought for the last 7 1/2 years,since we started having kids,that a mysterious fairy went through the house cleaning up after the kids.....

He had to entertain the 18 month old and the 4 year old until noon when the 8 year old finished dance practice. This involved running errands, and taking the 4 year old in public is always an interesting experience. While driving back to his house the 18 month old fell asleep, which meant she refused to take an afternoon nap. He was trying to prepare a gourmet dinner for 6 friends, and all she wanted to do was cry and demand to be picked up. His comment to me "You can't get anything done when they are around." I replied "Yeah, I know," while secretly thinking to myself "Where have you been for the last 7 1/2 years? Now do you understand why sometimes when you came home I might not have always been in the best of moods?"

With the arrival of his friends he was able to finish dinner, but all during dinner and after dinner the kids kept demanding things kids demand, like more food, drink, to be cleaned off, diaper changed, help going potty, etc. He was in and out of the conversation with his friends as he attended to the kids. I think it was pretty exhausting.... And again a second night of no sleep due to the 4 year old in the bed with him.

Meanwhile for me, on Saturday, after sleeping in until 10:30 a.m. I decided to completely clean and reorganize my bedroom and bathroom. The project took three hours, and it was entirely uninterrupted by children. I listened to uplifting music and enjoyed being able to have a thought to myself that was not interrupted after 30 seconds by a child needing my attention. I then took a long hot shower, got dressed in a totally rockin' cute outfit and headed out to the mall. I shopped for two hours, mostly window, and met friends for dinner. After dinner we returned to my house and my friend's husband gave me a beautiful blessing. The week-end was the most peaceful relaxing week-end I have had in a long time, maybe least since my children were born.

I think I am going to like week-ends ALONE!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Things that bind us....

It was around the middle of August when I realized that my marriage was not going to last, and a deep sadness set in. It was also around that time I began to follow a blog about a husband and wife who had been in a plane crash. They both survived, but were severely burned. They live in Arizona and are the parents of four small children, similar in age to mine. The wife had been a blogger for three years and had quite a following. Her sister also had a blog, which had its own following. Because of their blog following the story began to get a lot of media attention, both locally and nationally, which is what first drew me to both their blogs. Over the last few months I have been following the sister's blog, with the continual updates on the medical condition of the couple. I have also began to read older posts from the wife and mother severely burned in the crash. She writes about life as a mother, and the simple pleasures of enjoying her children and husband.

Clearly now her life is forever changed, and how she choose to move forward from this point is her decision to make. Life as she knew it will never been the same. She has just recently started to come out of her medically induced coma and realize what lies ahead. Although our challenges are different, the pain, sorrow and change bind us together. I too feel like I am coming out of a coma of sorts, with new roads to travel, and the future is forever changed from the past. In many ways what she and her family are feeling right now is the same thing I am feeling only the circumstances are different. As I have read her sister's blog, and the beautiful things she has written, it has struck a cord with me, and helped me to realize we all feel the same emotions, they just come to us through individual trials. That emotion is what is able to bind us together in empathy for others who also experience trials.

I have copied parts of two of my favorite posts:

November 11, 2008,

"I have never known the heaviness that I have felt the past few days. It weighs upon your heart and never leaves your soul. Though I have prayed for it to leave, I have come to understand that this is part of the process. Sometimes there is nothing to do but feel the depths of humanity. And I can't even begin to imagine those who will feel it much deeper than I do now.But, God is with us. Eventually He will help us carry this and lighten our heavy in due time. We believe in better times. We believe in eternal happiness. We know that an atonement was made and all is not lost. It is times like these where faith is more valuable than anything in this world. This is how we become more like our Father in Heaven.Stephanie knows this too, and she will be fine. That is the amazing aspect of faith. When you allow for hope to grow in your heart you find that peace takes root and is not easily destroyed. She knows."

October 20, 2008

"So much of her recovery is still unknown, and we are so encouraged and hopeful by every report, but it is a long road of progress and setbacks, and we have to be patient. We. Have. To. Wait.

Through all of this, I kept thinking of all the possible outcomes. All bandaged, without a medical degree or crystal ball, I couldn’t tell. Will she be able to tie little shoes again? Pick up children? Make a meal? Type? Paint? Turn the pages of a book? Make a craft? I asked this really energetic nurse, after I listened to her give this week’s update. I knew she not only had the experience and knowledge of a seasoned nurse, but that she had compassion and real love for each one of her patients. I knew she could answer my question in a realistic way, so I asked her what the most likely outcome would be for Stephanie. I was expecting a specific list of what she would and would not be able to do, but what I got was a 30 minute explanation that has changed my way of thinking.

She explained that there’s no way of knowing what the future will be, and that, basically, I was asking the wrong question. She spoke of other burn victims, how well they’re doing now, what they’re doing now, the successes and happiness they’ve expressed to her. She told me that everything is different now and that things will never be the same. Ever. If we, as her family and friends, are constantly comparing her to the way she used to be, then we’ll never be satisfied. It will never be enough. If, however, we compare her to how far she’s come, each step of the way, and see the miracle that her body is in surviving and changing, then each success will be a leap, not an inch, forward from a devastating moment. If we say, Look how much better she’s doing since September!, we’ll be encouraged. Or, at Christmas, if we say, Look how amazing she is since Halloween! , we’ll find joy in her success, not frustration. It reminds me how the Clarks, on the 4th of July, always say, Before you know it, there will be snow on the mountains, and it will be Christmas! and on Christmas say, Before you know it, it will be hot and we’ll be celebrating the 4th of July! It’s right around the corner! We laugh about it, but we’re always really thinking that. From holiday to holiday, that’s how we mark time.

I’ve been thinking about how I mark progress and how often my perspective, although linear, is off. I’m frustrated when I think of the ideal in my head, whether physical, spiritual, mental, or even emotional. I think I have unrealistic expectations sometimes, mostly in how fast I think I should be progressing. If I evaluate myself in terms of an ideal, I will never feel a period of rest or success. When I look at myself, in all aspects of life, all things considered, from a different perspective of several years ago, a few years ago, or a month ago, and allow myself to see how far I’ve come, then I can see it. I can see what difficult experiences have taught me–what knowledge they’ve given me and what incredible value they hold for me. And any progress, no matter how slow, is progress. But. I. Have. To. Wait.

I spoke with two of my sister in-laws whose fathers both died when they were young, and Topher’s grandma who lost her husband when she had a house full of little kids. They all made the same four points, individually, to me this week: 1. We all have tragedy in our lives–no one escapes it. 2. Looking back, I can see so many blessings coming out of the tragedy. 3. We were meant to help each other amid tragedy, and 4. We can be in the middle of a tragedy and still be happy. Somehow, these points help me see how far Stephanie has really come, and how truly inspirational her healing is. It makes me think that when we think we’re waiting, we’re really progressing."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Telling his family

As I mentioned earlier, his parents, (mother and step father) have known since March about my husband being gay. He has 9 siblings, (2 wholes, 2 halfs and 5 steps) none of them knew, with the exception of a whole blood brother, who is also gay. I figured it was not my place to be telling members of his family. My husband was dragging his feet on telling his siblings.

Recently his youngest sister spent the night with us, while his parents were out of town. She knew that we were having problems in our marriage and were going to separate, but did not know the nature of the problems. I am very close to his youngest sister, (his parents and two youngest siblings, half bloods, lived with us for 5 years, but that is ANOTHER story...) I wanted his youngest sister to know that I was ok, and exactly what the situation is. She cried when I told her, but told me she still loves my husband. I assured her that I too still loved him. Her best friend's father is gay and divorced from her best friend's mother. She has spent time with the best friend's dad, so this was not a completely foreign concept to her. I really was the right person to deliver the information to her. Being the youngest she sometimes get treated like a 12 year old and she is almost 18, and very mature, despite being the youngest of 10. I would not have told her if I did not feel it was information she could handle. His youngest brother recently left on a mission and the concusses is that he needs to focus on his mission, and this information can wait two years.

As for the rest of his siblings....this is where it gets dicey..... My husband, me, his siblings, and step siblings all grew up in the same town together. We no longer live in that town, or state for that matter, however my youngest sister lives still lives in that town, and we all have a lot of friends there. My youngest sister decided that my marriage needed to be the topic of gossip and proceeds to tell a friend who happens to be good friends with the youngest of the step siblings. (For the record I, nor my husband, get along with this particular sibling nor his wife, again that is ANOTHER story...) As soon as the step sibling finds out that my husband is gay and we have separated, it spreads like wildfire through the family, not exactly how we wanted to break the news. Pretty much me, my husband, and his parents want to throttle my sister. I know she did not mean for this to happen, but the point is she should not be gossiping about me to some stranger I don't even know. ( I know its ironic considering I am blogging this to all the world)

After this information comes out my husband refuses to call his siblings and speak with them, leaving his parents to do his "dirty work." His sister, a full blood, called him, he see she is calling and lets the call go to voice mail. I ask if he is going to call her back and he respond that he will "email" her. I had to laugh, because this was a prime example of my husbands refusal to be emotionally intimate with anyone. Earlier this year he informed me he does not like talking on the telephone, (which is true, he has never been a big telephone talker, its pretty much say what you have to say and hang up. Very rarely do I have a telephone conversation with him that exceeds 5 minutes) and he prefers to text message, so if I want to talk to him through out the day I needed to text him. Hence I learned how to text. Again can't be emotionally intimate in a text conversation...... However his sister was persistant and kept calling him until eventually he picked up the phone and talked to her. She called me too, which thought was very nice and extremely thoughtful.

None of his other siblings, (all steps) have bothered to call....too scared, don't know what to say, glad its us and not them, bigoted, who knows....Thank goodness I am going out of state for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Telling my family.

I told one of my sisters when he first came out, but I had not told anyone else in my family. My father does not have the best of health and I did not want to unnecessarily worry him if we were going to be able to work this out. After we made the decision to separate, I knew I had to make a difficult phone call to my father. (He lives out of state.) My father was of course surprised and upset. He is very old school and sees "gay" as a choice rather than an inherent part of who my husband is. I elected not to get into a debate with my father about that point, because it is not going to change his mind, at least not at this point in time. Its probably a good thing my father has as many health problems as he does, otherwise I think he might have come to my house and killed my husband.

Just to pour salt in this wound for my father, I have a step sister who was married to a gay man, so my father has been down this path once before. I guess we have mastered the fine art of finding gay men in my family! I tried to assure my father that my situation was going to be different from my step-sister in that I was not expecting my husband to go wild like my former brother-in-law did, but my father only has that situation to measure my situation against. My sisters have conveyed to me that my father is very concerned about me. Two days after I told him he called me up and asked if I had taken an AIDS test. I assured him that I did not believe my husband was fooling around, but he said my former brother-in-law said he was not fooling around, and my step sister got a call from the health department notifying her a man my brother-in-law had slept with tested positive for HIV, and my step sister had to get tested. Fortunately her results were negative. I told my father I would get the full scope of STD tests so he could sleep at night. (Just did the blood work, waiting for results)

I had a brother and sister still to tell. I called my youngest sister and told her. She is very liberal, and a big opponent of Prop 8 so she of course had no issues with my husband being gay, other than concern for how I was feeling. My brother.....well he is another story. My brother was 14 when my mom died and is emotionally stuck at 14, despite the fact he is 31. He is unmarried, not active in the Church, drinks, does drugs, sleeps around (with women), works when he is in the mood, and you don't call him he calls you. He happened to call me on the Sunday we told our children. After we told our children, and my husband took them to his new house, and I had an appointment with the Bishop. This was a Bishop who had been in for two weeks. I had not been to my prior Bishop, just because we had not made our decision yet on how we were going to proceed with our relationship, and once we made the decision, I knew our Bishop was going to get released so I decided to wait to address the issue with the new Bishop. The new Bishop had a little bit of a heads up about the situation, because the wife of the former Bishop was one of the two sisters in the ward that I fully disclosed to, and during the transition the old Bishop told the new Bishop I would probably be visiting with him soon. The meeting went fine, I don't know this Bishop very well, and he of course does not know me, but he was understanding and assured me he would not share the information about my husband being gay with anyone in the ward.

Ok, back to my brother, he calls me about 10 minutes after I have come home from meeting with the Bishop. I am emotionally exhausted from telling the children and speaking to the Bishop. I can barely form any sort of a sentence, and I am certainly not in the mood to have a "strained" conversation with my brother. (All conversations with my brother are "stained" due to his lack of emotional maturity. It is basically like talking to a 14 year old) So I tell my brother to sit down and proceed to say "(the name of my husband) is gay and we are getting a divorce. " A stunned silence on the other end of the phone, and my brother responds "Wow I did not see that one coming." To his credit he was really concerned about me, which was a shock, because generally he is not capable of having any thoughts outside of himself. I told him I was really tired and just could not talk right now and could he please call me back later in the week. He agreed to do that.

Its been three weeks and I still have not heard from him.....I guess he is still processing......

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The last month...

October 2, 2008 my husband and I made the decision to separate. It was a discussion that was several months in the making. I had known since about August that our marriage was not going to survive, but it was hard to admit to myself and to my husband. He knew too. We both are moving in different directions. He does not want to be part of the Church anymore and I do. He is angry with the Church right now over their treatment of homosexuals. I understand his anger and why he feels the way he does, but I can’t deny my testimony and give up the Church, which is one of things it would take for me to remain married to him. Even staying with him and going to Church by myself would be difficult, and hamper my ability to grow spiritually, and engage my children spiritually.

The other issue was his friends. He has a number of gay friends, and I understand his need to have gay friends, but he want to emotionally connect to them, and not to me. He wants to spend time with them, and not me. Every night he spends one to two hours doing IM with them, and I know he is also doing IM at work, so it’s not like he has not talked to them all day. He shares his feelings with them and not me, he hides things from me. He parties with them. At first I thought I could share him with his friends, but then realized I am not good a sharing…and his choosing them over me is a constant reminder that I am not enough for him.

As hard as it is, I decided that I deserve more in a relationship. I deserve to be with someone who want to be with me, who wants to share with me, who finds me attractive sexually, who wants to live the gospel, who wants to be emotionally and physically intimate with me. I realize I may never find that in this life time, but I also realize my relationship with my husband is not healthy for me, and being alone is better than staying. I fought so hard over the summer to try to stay in this relationship, I did not want to leave, but the more I fought to stay, the more physically and emotionally ill I became. Once I made the decision to leave a wave of peace fell over me, and I knew it was the right choice. I still love him and I know he still loves me, but it is simply not enough.....

Then the long a painful process began of telling those we love, including our children. It is a decision we both agree on, so there is no anger or hostility. We were friends before we got married, we have been friends during our marriage, and it is our hope to continue to be friends. After he first came out to me I elected to only tell my sister and my aunt. I did not know what future held, and I did not want a lot of "noise" from others while I was trying to decide. It was a heavy burden I carried in silence for six months. After we made the decision to separate, I knew I needed to tell my two best friends in my ward. They are two women I served with in a calling and we became very close, so much so I consider them my sisters. I knew they would be loving and understand. It was hard, there was a lot of crying, and one of the sisters has a son that is gay, which I did not know. I felt a burden lift as I told them and allowed them to help share my pain, and be a support for me. This is a new position for me. Usually I am the one giving service and relief. To be on the receiving end is a new experience.

Other than these two sisters, and my bishop I have elected to not disclose to my other ward members that my husband is gay. This is out of respect for my husband. He has elected to remain silent at work regarding the issue, and members of our ward know people he works with. I also decided it was the right choice. "Gay" brings with it a whole host of judgment, most of it unrighteous. No one knows my husband as I do, and despite his current choices, he is a good person, I still love him, I respect him, he is a good father to our children, and does not deserve the judgements individuals will place on him without a full understanding of him and our situation.

After he first came out to me, I spoke with my aunt who has been through two divorces and is a counselor. She gave me some of the best advice I have received. She told me to "be the teller of my story." I have been in situations when I have learned someone I know is getting divorced through the grapevine. It creates an awkward situation. You don't know what to say to the person, so you avoid them. I did not want to be avoided, I wanted to be supported. I made a list of those I wanted to tell personally and began working on my list. I started with my home teachers and visiting teachers. I have received nothing but love and support and it has allowed people to approach me and ask how I am doing because they know I am willing and open to talk about the situation. Since I am not disclosing that my husband is gay I have just said that my husband has made changes in his life that have made it impossible to stay married. Which is true, because had he stayed active in the Church and given up his friends I would have stayed in the marriage. I have also been very clear that there is no third party involved.

As wise as I believe my initial choice to stay silent was, I truly know that the Lord does not intend us to bear our burdens alone. By sharing my story and my trials and testifying to my friends the love that I know my Heavenly Father has for me it has given me the necessary strength to forge ahead. After the emotional lows of the summer to feel myself getting emotionally stronger every day is a blessing. I have no doubt that I have made the right choice for me.

Telling our children was something I dreaded. We elected not to tell them until my husband had a new house and a few things in the house. Our children are very young, 7, 4, and 18 months. I knew the seven year old would be impacted the most because she understands the most. I prayed that I would be able to say the right things to them to convey the love that both their father and I have for each other. We told them they had probably notice that both mommy and daddy had been sad lately, and that because of that we could not live together anymore. We, or rather I, told them because my husband could not speak, that we both loved them, and that it had nothing to do with any of them and it was nothing they did or said. We also reassured them that we both still love each other and always well. The seven year old was crying, and the four year old wanted to know if I was still going to live in our house. I assured the four year old I would still be living in our house. We then began to talk about "daddy's new house" and what the new schedule would be. I assured them that they were going to see their daddy two nights a week, and spend Friday and Saturday night every week with him, and would come home Sunday morning in time to go to church with me. Then I told them that they were going to go with daddy to see his new house. They became excited. I told them what an adventure it would be. I wanted to give them some control since they adults in their life were pretty much trashing their life without their permission. I told them they could choose which toys and books to take to daddy's house. I told them they could pick out new bedding for their new rooms. We also talked about some of the fun things they could do a daddy's house. They left to see the new house, and returned excited.

Since telling them I have been carefully observing their behavior in order to head off any problems. The seven year old has had a lot of questions, which I have tried to answer in a straight forward, age appropriate way. Both the seven year old and four year old have now moved into my bed and refuse to sleep in their own beds. Normally I believe children should sleep in their own beds, but given the current situation, I think and exception to this rule as long as they want is ok. Besides the four year old likes to sleep snuggled up right next to me, and I have to admit I need it has much as the four year old does.

There is so much more, but for right now I will pause.....