Friday, November 14, 2008

Marital Relations III or Tired

Not much seems to be going my way. Work has been slower than what I need it to be, school is hard and I am behind, finances are more challenging than usual and my wife and I are going through hard times.

After last week things have been subdued between us, until last night when we discussed prop 8 and I shared my views. I stated that the rights of individuals cannot be restrained due to our beliefs. Her views are black and white, typical of blind Mormon faith.

It was a big fight that did not turn out well. She couldn’t believe that I would support gay rights when the church had done so much in promoting prop 8. She feels that I am ignoring latter day revelation from the prophet. I have never done much research into the proposal or reactions either way, and so I can’t debate my way around the subject very well. I shared my feelings which opposed those belonging to my wife and she rejects them.

The conversation ended with her hanging up on me, after stating that she questions whether or not I am a good father and example to our children. This is interpreted to me as her questioning our relationship and making a decision if she wants to remain with me. I felt what she was saying was ‘shape up or ship out’ or ‘my way or the highway.’ This is not a subject that we can agree to disagree on.

I was scheduled to stay at school yesterday, but after getting off the phone with her I drove home, reaching our house at about 1:30am. She told me how much she loved me and we cuddled in bed for the rest of the night. I was up at 6 am taking care of our 13 month old son who has the flu and then again to get the two oldest kids off to elementary school.

I came home and made my wife breakfast, where she brought up the subject again. She had read the Elder Oaks discussion on same gender attraction and again it is pretty black and white to her. She feels that I am in the first stages of apostasy and it scares her.

I understand how she feels, but I feel certain things too that she does not understand. I don’t think that she really wants to get into understanding that much either.

I feel that I am going to have to sit down and shut up and ever since then I have been very depressed. 3 double cheeseburger ranked depression [for all of you who are counting my calories I inform you that those three burgers were about all I had all day].

One of my greatest character flaws is that when I feel sorry for myself I dwell on it. It is almost like I want to feel hurt, like I deserve it or something. I don’t feel good when I feel this way, but there has to be some payoff by it.
I don’t know what to do, other to prove to her that I choose her in my life.

I feel like I should sit down and shut up. I feel like I have no worth of being loved as an individual by mortals or heavenly beings. Of course the intellectual portion of myself argues that but the emotional being understands and accepts it as truth.

I am not chronically or clinically depressed. I don’t need meds and I know that this too shall pass sometime. I pray for love and acceptance from both my Heavenly Father and from my wife. I wish that the second coming would just come and all of this would come to an end. I am not suicidal, but I do want this mortal experience to come to an end so I can have the supposed relief that Elder Oaks promises. I am really just tired and I don’t want to go on. I feel that I am out of hope for this life so I am moving on to perhaps the afterlife. Maybe there is hope there.

Is this a midlife crisis? Am I allowed to have one before I turn thirty, or is this just a precursor to something that will cause far greater pain than I can imagine?


Bravone said...

Oh Mike! If there were a way to lighten your load, ease your burden, lift your spirits, I would gladly do it. I have had so many days like you are experiencing. I think most of us do. Has your wife read any of Sarah's blog? She is such an inspiration. I know Sarah would be willing to talk or write to her.

As far as Prop 8 goes, I can't remember an issue in recent past that has caused so much misunderstanding, anger, confusion and heartbreak. I sent this to one of my straight friends: "I would like to think that allowing gay marriage would add stability and increase morality within the gay community. It obviously doesn't work perfectly with heterosexuals, but in general it does add some stability and hopefully increases the likelihood of fidelity between a husband and wife. I think the same should apply to same gender marriages. It would hopefully increase the commitment to each other that is expected in a heterosexual marriage, reduce promiscuity and strengthen society." Just my opinion.

Know that you are of infinite worth. Father, who knows you better than you do, loves and understands you. Think of the love you have for your children and then imagine how much love He must have for us.

I think you are doing the right things to show your love to and reassure your wife that you are committed to her. It will take time. I pray she will come to know and understand you better, trust in your relationship more.

I flew in a small corporate jet this week in bad weather. I almost wanted it to go down. Not that I am ready or eager to die, just ready for it to be over. But I also look forward to many good times in the future with my family. That keeps me going.

Hang on, the Light will come.

Abelard Enigma said...

I feel like I should sit down and shut up.

That is certainly the path of least resistance - and one that many of us take. But, all you are doing is delaying the inevitable. I suspect her black and white view of things is a defense mechanism. You are going through changes right now - changes that affect your outlook on life, your political views, etc. These changes scare your wife - afraid of what you'll ultimately change into. She is also struggling because she doesn't understand why you need to go through these changes. The status quo is comfortable - an uncertain future is frightening.

In order to make the transition easier, she needs to go on the journey with you - even if it makes her uncomfortable; so, you need to talk about it with her. I say this somewhat hypocritically as I don't do as good of a job as I should. Talking will be uncomfortable - for both of you. You are not going to agree on many things. But, she needs to see that, although you are changing in some areas - there are certain core values that are not changing - and these are what she can cling onto.

You also need to be giving some serious thought as to what it is you really want. Where do you see your relationship with your wife going in 5 years, 10 years? Change may be inevitable - but you do have control over what you will change into.

Scott said...

Bravone's right. Sarah would be more than happy to talk to your wife, and her blog might be helpful as well.

I wonder if it would help your wife on the Prop 8 issue if she could understand the struggle that many members of the Church on both sides of the issue have gone through in trying to find a position.

Many of those who ultimately ended up supporting it did so only after serious struggle and soul-searching and did so against their consciences, solely because they felt that it was important to follow the Prophet.

Many of those who ultimately ended up speaking against the proposition did so only after serious struggle and soul-searching and did so despite a firm testimony of the reality of a modern prophet because they felt spiritually inclined to do so.

I don't think that your inability to "debate your way around the subject very well" is really a liability. In my opinion, the logical arguments for Prop 8 all fall apart under scrutiny, and the only valid reason for supporting it is a conviction that doing so is God's will.

I don't know if you've read my most recent post but I think that there are several things that have helped Sarah and I to actually strengthen our relationship since I came out to her that I've outlined in that post. I can't take any credit--most of them are things that she's done--but I think that the concepts might be helpful to others in mixed-orientation marriages as well. Give it a read, and have your wife read it too if you think it would be appropriate.

If the main conflict right now is the gay marriage issue, it may be best to leave that issue alone until you've both become a bit more comfortable with everything else. Don't ignore your differences of opinion forever, but focus on things that might be easier to resolve for now, and tackle that one when your relationship is stronger and better able to handle the stress.

Hang in there, and good luck. My prayers will be with you.

Captain Midnight said...

You've probably already heard of this book, but I suggest you have your wife read "In Quiet Desperation." (Published by Deseret Book)

My parents kept telling me that my feelings were just in my head and that I could change, until I gave them that book. Then suddenly they understood that this is something that will be with me my whole life. That book really changed my relationship with my parents. They are more loving and understanding of my situation now. Maybe the same could happen with your wife.

Beck said...

I kept reading this, even though I promised to myself to stay away, and I can't - and I felt that I had been writing this very post. How dare you be me! How dare you have my most intimate thoughts! :)

Just sit down and shut up... you'll be a lot better off.

Sarah said...

I agree that giving her a book to read would be a good idea. Scott gave me a copy of "No More Goodbyes" the night he came out to me, and I attribute that to my quick understanding of everything. It was a very hard book to read, and I think that also helped as it threw me into intense mourning and sadness for a short period of time. I got the mourning and anguish out of my system faster that way or something.

I haven't read "In Quiet Desperation" but I know there are people out there that really recommend it over "No More Goodbyes".

Regardless, she needs something to help her understand. My latest blog post indicates that Scott desperately wanted me to know that he didn't choose to be gay, but I truly did not understand that until I read a book about it and then started reading the blogs of men like you in this community.

We will definitely be praying for you to find comfort and know what to say, and for her to be open to your ideas and suggestions.

If there is ANY WAY I can help, please let me know.

Reading of your and Beck's anguish this week has really been hard on me, and I wish I could just come talk to your wives and say "Wake up and really see what you are married to, give him a chance, learn all you can, pray to really understand what he is going through!"

The more I read blogs of other MOMs, the more I really do not understand why I am the way I am. I want to somehow help, instead of feeling that everyone is sad, wishing their wives could be more like me. Chances are there are many ways that I wish I could be more like your wives.

Hang in there.

Bror said...

I just wanted to say hang in there. It can only get better. My wife and I have disagreed over the same exact things. It has been tense but we have been able to work it out. The world is more gray than black and white. :)

Ezra said...

Hang in there buddy, we're all rooting for ya!

I know what you mean about wanting to be done with this existence--It's very trying.

Bravone said...

Mike, you have gone quiet. How are things?