Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Stop being so sensitive!

Sometimes you hear things that your spouse (or friend, parent, family member etc.) says to others with you standing there and it seems innocent enough when taken at face value, but when you think about it, it hurts inside. It wasn't intended to be "personal" or reflecting negatively on you, per se, but all the same it does. But, you let it bounce off and you don't say anything, but you still feel the hurt. Should you just get over it, toughen up and get on with life and stop being such a sensitive drama queen?

Case in point: On Sunday, I heard a discussion between the Bishop and my wife about how Dumbledore's sexual orientation came up in a Young Women discussion in class, and how it was used, as a result, by my wife, since it was brought up by the girls, to point out the willing acceptance by the world at large for evil.

Now I don't really care about JK Rowling's motives for revealing her character's orientation in the way she did. That is not the discussion point here. What is the point is how my wife interpreted the event and associated the acceptance of such an orientation by the world as being an acceptance of "evil". Somehow this has begun to fester inside me and make me "hurt" inside.

I know when she says this, she is referring to the "gay lifestyle" and / or the "gay way" as some call it, and in a teaching situation of moral aptitude for young women in a church setting, she is making a point of distinction between the "gospel way" and the "world's way". I get that. I understand it. I've been in that situation as a teacher as well (though now that I am more assure of myself, I don't think I'll allow such comments to pass in such a teaching opportunity in the future - though having said that, in front of the Bishop, I reverted back to my position of "saying nothing").

But I can't help but wonder:

1. Does she really feel that simply being "oriented that way" is "evil"?

2. Does she feel that applauding one's "coming out" even as a fictional character, is supporting "evil"?

3. Does she feel that my thoughts, my feelings, my attractions are "evil"?

4. Does she feel that this blog is "evil"?

5. Am I "evil" for associating with and applauding others in their "orientation choices"?

It has made me wonder that she is fine with me being "gay" as long as I don't do anything about it. She can accept me as her "gay" husband as long as I never even use the word or mention it again...

I feel very hurt and confused right now... Don't tell me to talk to her because I can't right now. We have bigger concerns to deal with (that are beyond the scope of this post or this blog) than my confused feelings. Pretending that it doesn't bother me is much easier, don't you agree? After all, I need to toughen up and stop being so sensitive, right?


GeckoMan said...

Yeah Beck, toughen up.

First off, you 'overheard' this, right? You weren't even part of the discussion; the comment wasn't intended for you. Had it been, she would have spun the point in a way she wanted for you to understand her intent and meaning. We all do that. I hate to be overheard and then accused of something taken out of context.

Are you saying she isn't really free to have her own ideas if they conflict or infringe upon your tender spots? And if they do, that you can't go for clarification and further dialog?

And lastly, analyze the comment solely at face value, without all the personal baggage. Is there any validity to the idea that the 'gay agenda' of advancing cultural endorsement is evil or corrupt in some ways, given the Lord's command against adultery and the world's increasing acceptance of anything goes?

RealNeal said...


I can understand your feelings. Hearing things like that kept me from coming our for many, many years.

My best friend, who was also my new Bishop at the time, once mentioned that the only thing he couldn't handle were the "homos". Then he mentioned something about the first city to get nuked in Armageddon would be San Francisco! Well, you can imagine the kind of walls I put up after that!! That one comment probably added about 9 more years of denial and hypocrisy to my life! It certainly kept me from discussing ANYTHING with him as a Bishop that might lead him to believe I was SSA.

Years later, when I finally did come out to him at the urging of my Stake Pres, he had completely changed. His years as Bishop and later being on the High Council had taught him many important lessons. He was so apologetic for the comments he had made before. He felt terrible that he had said something hurtful like that. He had matured into a truly loving, compassionate, and supportive man - and he's still my best friend!

I think its ashamed your wife didn't take the opportunity to educate those girls. She could have told them SSA is only a sin if acted upon. Instead, she generalized and allowed the misperceptions to continue. At some point, when you feel ready, you may want to mention that to her, along with the way those remarks made you feel. But only when you're ready.

Take care,


Foxx said...

Boys don't cry. Social expectations were never so damaging.

Geckoman: While it may be true that she would have said it differently if she knew who was listening, what does that say about her? Does she simply pander to her audience, and say what she wants them to hear, or was she simply not self-editing because she thought she was talking to a sympathetic? I think it casts a question on her feelings, and I think Beck feels right to wonder what's really going on inside her head. That being said, if it eventually comes up between them, he should trust her explanation.

Beck: Evil is a word overused in religious circles. I think the LDS faith is a big culprit especially because of the belief that anything that is not of God is of the devil (Alma 5:40, Moroni 7:12). By this black and white doctrine, many otherwise benign things are labeled evil.

Anything that would cause you to break the commandments of God, or lead His children astray thereby falls into the category of evil. So it's easy to say that since gender is eternal, and since God has at least one wife, and since he has given us the Proclamation on the Family which describes quite clearly the righteous and godly relationship, homosexuality clearly undermines the Plan of Salvation, and therefore must be evil.

However, evil to me is the word that encompasses the worst, most grotesque, foul, dark essense of everything malicious and horrible. In that sense, homosexuality is not evil, because it brings a lot of light, happiness, and well-being to those who find themselves so inclined.

The dictionary defines evil as 1) morally reprehensible, 2)archaic inferior, and 3)causing harm.

So, choose your poison.

I know you said not to tell you to talk to her, but that's the only way to get something like this resolved, or, at least, to understand where she is/was coming from so that you don't let it fester inside and color your perception of everything she says and does.


Beck said...

GECKO: For the record, I was standing next to her. No, it was not directed at me, but she knew I was listening. Yes, she is most definitely entitled to her own opinion and I love her for that. There is no problem of having differing opinions. The problem is in me "not correcting" the impression given that was unintentionally hurtful, or misleading at best, and the other is in trying to figure out her real thoughts on the matter without having another painful discussion... even though I realize that that may be what it takes.

NEAL said: "... I think it's "a shame" your wife didn't take the opportunity to educate those girls..." Yes, and how many times do we all not jump on it at the spur of the moment and make that correction as needed. I'm guilty, even programmed, to let things slip without correcting false impressions. This post is about become more aware of those slippages and trying to correct them in me and others... I don't fault her for it, as much as need to clarify it with her.

Beck said...

FOXX: You're right. You're always right. I always find great wisdom in you. I know I need to talk to her and this is encouraging me to do so. We haven't had a good "gay chat" in some time... and this may be the opportunity to break some of that proverbial ice that has become glacial in scope lately when dealing with such discussions. I'll keep you informed.

Kengo Biddles said...

From the perspective of the Church and the doctrines, yes, embracing homosexuality in the form of a sexual relation with another man is something that can fall under the heading of "Evil."

I know we all hedge at different points in conversations with different people, so cut your wife some slack in that department. But at the same time, I really think that there is some unresolved baggage in your relationship and it would probably be a good thing to discuss at some point with your wife.

Beck said...

Unresolved baggage? Really? I've got so much unresolved baggage that my house is often confused with the lost / unclaimed baggage department of Delta Airlines!

I've got to talk with her... I'm going to talk with her... do you want to talk to her for me?

GeckoMan said...

Sorry, I got the impression you were not really present. So you think the comment may have been intended for you, to test your sensitivity?! Well, it pushed a button alright. Regardless, having an 'excuse' as good as this to talk about comes rarely. There's a whole lot of 'evil' philosophy here that's just itching for a good conversation. Good Luck.

Like I said, I think we all 'pander' to audience; nonetheless your point is valid in questioning what's behind the comment. And I like your point that 'evil' is over-used and actually quite ambiguous.

Abelard Enigma said...

FWIW, I think I would have the same hurt feelings that you are experiencing had I been in your shoes.

But, I agree with others - for your own sanity, you need to quit pussy footing around your wife. She is married to a gay man and she needs to accept it. I don't think you are doing either her or you any favors by allowing her to pretend it isn't true.

Although, I certainly understand your reluctance to confront her. It's probably not going to be a pleasant conversation, at least initially - and nobody wants unpleasant conversations, especially with their wife. But, I also think that, in the long run, you and your wife will end up feeling closer to one another.

But, back to the topic at hand. We live in a society where making homophobic comments is a big no-no in the political correctness department. However, I think many in the church feel that church is a safe place where they can say what's on their mind without fearing the PC police. What many members don't realize is just how many of us are out there. Right or wrong, many people have left the church and gone inactive because of hurtful things said by others - and sometimes the person who said them may not even realize that what they said was hurtful.

Anonymous said...

the church has it's own PC police who monitor not only what you say, but what you wear, how you cut your hair... i'm much more careful about what i say in church than in my home or workplace