Sunday, September 27, 2009

There is a chill in the air.

This last week I felt it. There was a chill in the air, the chill of fall. In some ways it was a welcome relief from the warmth and heat of the summer. I am tired of sundresses and shorts. I am ready for jeans and sweaters. But at the same time there was a certain sadness that accompanied the chill I felt.

It was a year ago, around the time the chill in the fall air set in, that soon to be ex-husband (STBEH) decided to separate. I still painfully recall that time and the accompanying emotion. I recall feeling lonely, despondent, afraid, and scared. Being depressed, yet knowing that every day I had to get up and be a parent. Which quite frankly was about the only thing that kept me going. I felt lower than I had ever felt in my life. I also felt more loved than I ever felt in my life. The love from my friends, the love from my Heavenly Father. I was a dichotomy of many emotions.

As I looked forward last fall I knew the next six month would be hard. They would be dark, they would be reflective of the weather, the child in the air, and the soon to be bitter cold. I set my sights on May 1, 2009. I set some goals to accomplish by May 1, 2009. I knew by May 1, 2009 that the darkness that was invading my life would be lifting. I knew I would be six months further in the healing process, I knew that it would be spring, new life, full of promise. I would feel the warmth of the sun, the renewing of the earth, the renewing of my spirit.

Spring and summer came, and sure enough I felt the renewal of the earth, of my spirit. Those dark days of fall and winter both as a physical manifestation and as a spiritual manifestation had been lifted. I had adjusted to the new normal. I had grown as a person, much in the same way the plants and vegetation in my yard had grown and bloomed. Yes there were still weeds to be dealt with, yes bugs still invaded, but I had more the tools and chemicals to fights those demons. More importantly I had fertilizer to help both me and my vegetation to continue to grow and flourish.

Now with this new chill in the air I felt this week, I am reminded of the closing of summer, the color of fall and the darkness of winter. As the emotions of last year flooded my memory with the chill of last fall, a certain sadness set in, realizing the memory was not dim nor had it faded. The chill of fall, with its accompanying warm afternoon used to be on of my favorite times of the year, as I would recall the beauty of the changing colors, along with the last elements of the warming sum. It meant sweaters, football games, Halloween, back to school, and playing in the leaves. Now it is a painful reminder of what occurred on a chilly fall day. Those same emotions are still felt, although they are tempered by the growth of the last year, and do not seem as raw or as fresh. But they remain, much like a scar, of a reminder of where I have been, as I look forward to where I am going.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What we deserve.

Recently I read this from another blog, and it struck a cord with me.

"We all deserve a partner in life who can do three things for us every day: Someone who will make us feel loved, make us feel respected, and make us feel appreciated every single day."

I believe this is true, I believe it is what we should strive for in our relationships, whether they be gay or straight relationships. The question for the mixed orientation marriage is, can you have all three?

I think about my own relationship. I know my soon to be ex-husband (STBH) loves me, but I also know it is not a complete love. While he loves the person that I am, and I honestly feel that from him, he doesn't love me as a sexual being. There is a missing element to our love. It gnaws at him and it gnaws at me. He wants to be that sexual partner for me, but he falls short, due to no fault of his own. The result is he feels bad because he does love me and wants to give that to me, and I feel bad because I am asking of him something that he is not capable of giving. It leaves us both empty and incomplete.

I can see it now he is in a new relationship. It is a relationship that completes him. It is a relationship that does not leave him feeling incomplete. He feels whole.

Respect. I have felt respected, but not always. When STBH first came out and started exploring his feelings and going through what I call his gay teenage years, I felt disrespected and left behind. It was like this whole life we had built together he was willing to just toss aside in favor of his new friends, his new self discovery, his new life. Eventually he came back to his family, but came back a changed person. I changed too. Now our respect for each other is not as husband and wife and commitments we have made to each other in that regard, but rather a respect for who each other is as a human being, who each other is as a parent, and who each other is as a friend.

Appreciation. I can honestly say that during our marriage I have felt appreciated, although at time I let my own selfishness stand in the way of allowing myself to feel his appreciation. I have felt even more appreciated as we have redefined what our relationship is.

To be loved, respected and appreciated. It sounds simple, yet in a mixed orientation marriage so very hard. Ultimately for us we both determined we could not continue on. Yet in making that decision our relationship has grown in our love, respect and appreciation for each other. Kind of ironic.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sacrament Meeting

For some reason today I was not looking forward to going to church, and I was out of excuses to skip, or skip out after sacrament meeting. (Mostly I was not looking forward to Sunday School, I enjoy Sacrament meeting and Relief Society, but Sunday School...? Yuck.)

We arrived a few minutes early and I got the kids settled and ready for Sacrament meeting. As I looked around I noticed two new families that had recently moved into the ward. Both families have children my age, so it will be imperative at some point I introduce myself. (I don't live in one of those wards with a zillion children, so any new children in the ward are a BIG deal.) I watched these families, a mother,a father, and their children, with both parents working together to take care of the kids. I was jealous. I sat alone, with my kids, struggling to control the five and two year old as they demanded my attention, new toys and fruit snacks.

Those families had what I wanted, a marriage, an in tacked family, a supportive partner. In a church where the focus is a nuclear family, I am the odd man out. I don't have what is idealized. I don't have what I was told to strive for in Young Womens. I don't have what everyone expects you to have, and questions when you don't. I felt like a failure.....

At the conclusion of Sacrament meeting I went to chat with one of my good friends. She is one of the few people in my ward that has full disclosure of my situation. She was emotionally struggling through Sacrament meeting, but for much different reasons. Her husband had been in Texas since Wednesday supposedly for business, but it was really to see the BYU game. He had taken his business partner, and had not communicated with her the entire time he was gone. She too was feeling alone, and much like a failure in her marriage, because he had elected to take his business partner over her, when the original plan was to take her. We cried together for a moment, and it left me realizing that we have to live in the moment, because the grass is not greener on the other side, its just different grass.