Thursday, August 21, 2008

Inevitability?


Enough already. I promise this is the last post I'll do centered on this theme and I'm prepared to move on.... I promise...
I've finished reading "No More Goodbyes".


Overall, it is a great read as it encourages dialogue in a community where there is none... or it is all one-sided as I and others have pointed out numerous times. The message of love and compassion, tolerance and understanding is without parallel. Carol Lynn Pearson is definitely the champion of these virtues. The plea for these virtues is real and heartfelt and moving.
The metaphor of reaching out and risking ourselves to bring our brothers and sisters in from the plain (a reference to the rescue missions of the handcart companies of 1856), is tugging and reassuring and the "right thing to do", and deep down we all know it - we just don't always do a good job doing it.

What I am struggling with, however, is the subtle message that is not even implied, but is there nevertheless, of the inevitability of gay faithful Mormon married men in my situation who will, without a doubt, 1) leave the church, and 2) leave the marriage. I know that CLP's husband did that very thing and she may feel it is only a matter of time before I do the same - or become insane if I don't - and who knows whether I already am going insane for not. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but there isn't an example that I can find of a story of one like me who has remained faithful and who has remained happily married, and has done so without giving up and losing his integrity, honesty, authenticity, and sanity.


So, seeing that CLP has countless stories at her disposal, where are the stories like mine? Where is the hope for a life like mine? Am I really just delusional to think I can avoid the inevitability?


What am I missing? The book has left me feeling quite fatalistic. Yes, the audience is not for me... it is for straight church members and straight family members who need some education and sensitivity training on how to love and respect and honor and appreciate their gay brothers and sisters. That's all good and fine, and necessary and needed.


But I guess, as I've noted before, I'm still looking for the CLP stories of wonderful and creative and successful gay men who are happy and full of life and excited to be engaged in good things and are faithfully committed to their love-filled marriages and faithfully devoted to their spiritually-enriching religion. Is that too much to ask for?


In the end, I didn't feel uplifted. I feel empty. And I hesitate (sorry Dicho's wife) to encourage my wife to read it as I don't need her feeling the emptiness I'm feeling right now and the fatalistic inevitability that I sense as my only future with her.


Now, that doesn't mean I can't leave it out for her to pick up on her own... :)


I don't believe in fatalistic points of view. I don't believe in inevitability either. Call me naive, call me delusional, call me ignorant, call me insane... I just won't accept that there isn't another way...

29 comments:

Kengo Biddles said...

Maybe those of us that are doing what you suggest,

who has remained happily married, and has done so without giving up and losing his integrity, honesty, authenticity, and sanity.

need to write a book and say, "Here are our efforts. It's not perfect, nor can we expect anything in this life to be, but we're moving forward with loving spouses and making it work."

That's my take. Miki and I have already approached someone in our ward about writing a book about marriage...we just need to fill her in on the details (she's a family psychologist/therapist).

Beck said...

But who would read it? Where's the audience?

I mean, if it is inevitable that something you and I are trying to do is doomed for failure (be it a destroyed marriage and lost membership in the church OR a lost life full of regrets and angst and self-integrity better left unlived), then...

what's the point?

MoHoHawaii said...

A couple of thoughts--

Very few people want to get divorced, especially when the marriage is of long standing and there are kids involved. Those who do divorce (myself included) generally do so because they can't keep it together well enough to go on. In my case I would have lost it (gone insane, killed myself, etc.) if there hadn't been a divorce.

Those who can keep it together generally do keep it together. They don't get talked about as much. It sounds like you're in this category, at least right now.

Your question is whether people like you can exist. That seems like a weird question to me. Of course you exist, and there are enough bloggers out there in similar situations to suggest that it's not that uncommon a place to be. The dissolution of your marriage is by no means foreordained. You've been married a long time, which more or less proves your ability to negotiate this issue.

I'd say, chill.

BTW, I'm a big CLP fan. She's the antidote to the poison running through much of the Church these days. What I especially like about here is that she is not letting this issue kick her out of the Church. She is willing to lead and to take a stand as an active member of the Church. I can't tell you how much I respect her for this.

Abelard Enigma said...

I agree with Beck; where are the success stories? - stories like CLP's, only with a happy ending. Stories where the husband and wife both knew one of them is gay and yet they went on for many years and had a happy life, raised children, etc. Correct me if I'm wrong, but virtually all of us here in the queerosphere can count on the fingers of one hand the number of years where we've been open and honest with both ourselves and our spouses.

Beck, I hear ya. I had the same sort of feelings when I read the book, especially after talking with my wife about it after she read it. Personally, I don't recommend handing it to your wife just yet - just knowing how my wife reacted (she cried a lot after reading it).

But, what else is there that we can point our spouses to? There are several books available on Amazon addressing mixed orientation marriages - and virtually all of them reach the same conclusion that CLP does.

I know we think we are strong enough and can beat the odds - but are we all just deluding ourselves?

Maybe those of us that are doing ... need to write a book

This gets back to a previous discussion about our closets. Right or wrong, many of us in this situation are still deeply closeted. How much good can we do while we are cowering in the recesses of our closet?

MoHoHawaii said...

I'm still looking for the CLP stories of wonderful and creative and successful gay men who are happy and full of life and excited to be engaged in good things and are faithfully committed to their love-filled marriages and faithfully devoted to their spiritually-enriching religion. Is that too much to ask for?

Unfortunately, yes.

Successful mixed-orientation marriages involve tremendous levels of compromise. There's a limit to what can be achieved given the nature of the situation itself. It's one of the reasons I don't recommend that young people consider entering into mixed-orientation marriages. They are too risky, and even the ones that remain stable involve almost superhuman levels of compromise.

I hope I'm not sounding too bleak with this comment. Some MOMs endure. I have a gay uncle who has been married to his wife for more than 50 years, and they seem content in their old age. (Caveat: I don't think the subject has ever been brought out in the open between them.) I don't know of a single case of an MOM where everyone's needs were fully met. It's not the nature of the beast.

Being in the closet is one of those compromises you make for the sake of the marriage. You guys need to cut yourselves some slack on this issue.

Samantha said...

How many best sellers are out there that talk about wonderful happy heterosexual marriages?

I'm just pointing out that drama sells, and contentment does not. I can't speak for everyone, but I know I don't feel a need to shout to the world that I'm in an MOM and I love being there--it works for me, and I find joy with my husband. The only time I get defensive about it is when people who know nothing about me intimate that there will come a time when my happiness will end, simply on the basis of my orientation. That doesn't work for me at all.

People who come out of a traumatic MOM feel the need to talk. Their stories are unusual so other people are spellbound by them. CLP has sought out these stories, and those, combined with her own have made her convinced that such marriages not only cannot survive, but they should not be entered into in the first place. A very good friend of mine met her in person and mentioned his MOM. Her response was along the lines of sorrow for his ignorance and assurance that his marriage would not last. That's an assumption no one should ever make, in my opinion. All marriages can be difficult in the best of circumstances without people expressing doom and gloom attitudes about them.

The truth is that the Lord has made some covenants with you about your marriage. I'd place a heck of a lot more trust in what He promises over what CLP predicts. I just think He's a safer bet in the long run.

P.S. My word verification is "viola". Yay!

Dichotomy said...

A few thoughts:

The book is about Goodbyes--it focuses on the goodbyes that are brought on by the current attitudes toward homosexuality. In the case of the marriage stories, CLP seems mainly to be making the point that the atmosphere in the Church encourages young men to marry (either in hope that it will "cure" them or, as in my case, in complete denial of their homosexuality) and that mixed-orientation marriages are difficult enough that, statistically, many of them will fail. We need to make it easier for gay members of the Church to choose not to marry without feeling like they are second-class citizens or "menaces to society". That's a sentiment that I agree with.

However, while it can't be argued that statistically the majority of MOMs fail, statistics don't really mean anything in an individual case. You can't say that because 95% of MOMs fail (I don't know if that number is accurate, I just made it up) that my marriage has a 95% change of failing. The chance of my marriage failing can't be calculated, and is directly impacted by the interest that my wife and I have in keeping it going. Based on our current relationship and goals, I'd say we have an extremely good chance of making our marriage work. Better, I think, than many heterosexual couples have.

For what it's worth, I still think that open, honest communication will dramatically improve a marriage's strength and a couple's ability to stay together. I've been skimming Kengo Biddles' blog(s) this morning and if he'll forgive me for using him as an example I think that his experiences support me on this.

The way my wife put it yesterday when we were talking about it: Whether "the gay thing" is a topic of discussion or not, it's going to be in the back of her mind as a source of constant worry. If it's not openly discussed, her mind is free to take that worry and play with it and feed it and create all manner of horrible scenarios out of it. If everything is out on the table, even if it's not all happiness and roses, at least it's concrete and manageable. Being able to bring any concern out into the open and examine it and dissect it and figure it out before it has a chance to run wild in her imagination is a wonderful thing.

Finally, please don't apologize for hesitating to share the book with your wife. We gave you the book because we thought it would be beneficial, but you need to decide what works for you and your wife and all we want is for both of you to find a way to be at peace. If that means giving the book back or even throwing it away, go for it!

Beck said...

There could be a lot of drama in a MOM story as one opens up about the compromises, the successes, the failures, the strengths, the weaknesses of such a story. I don't feel like I need to tell such a story (for a variety of reasons) - I've done too much just with this blog (and hopefully for some good for the few who may find inspiration here).

What I am saying (and thank you Sam for pointing out a personal witness to this fact) is that CLP and this point of view indicate that MOMs are fatal and their failure are inevitable, and to have allowed ourselves into such relationships is regrettable.

I find that disturbing.

I agree with MOHOH that such relationships should not be encouraged (as a cure for homosexuality, or under false pretense, etc.), but some of us did it innocently, not ignorantly, and with faith and love and devotion that still kindles. To say my entire life has been a waste and that what my wife and I have shared together and created together is a tragic mistake and doomed to failure (I feel it is only doomed to failure if we both stop trying to succeed!) seems lacking in compassion, tolerance, love and understanding - those exact virtues that are used in behalf of other gay brothers and sisters who DO end their marriages.

Shouldn't such compassion, tolerance, love and understanding have room to embrace the MOMs out there and encourage their willing partners to succeed instead of routing on the predestined and predicted, inevitability of failure?

Is that asking for too much?

Damon said...

Beck,

I see your point. However, I think that she did address your lifestyle. It's in the very beginning and it's very brief. I will paraphrase because I don't have a copy of her book with me. She says that she has gay friends who have chosen life long celibacy, gay friends who have chosen to stay married to the opposite sex and gay friends who have chosen relationships with the same sex. She states she is comfortable with all of these decisions.

She does say that those who chose to stay married to the opposite sex often found a great deal of grief and struggle and most often ended in divorce.

I think, given that she is writing specifically to families of gay Mormons, she is pointing out the 3 options available. In the case of staying in a mixed-orientation marriage she is setting realistic expectations.

For example, I don't think she wanted my mother to read this book and run to me and say, "Look CLP says you can be married to a woman, so why don't you just do that." I think she wanted her audience to know that while this is an option it is a tough option and getting married doesn't mean you'll stay married and it doesn't mean any of the issues involved with homosexuality will go away.

To be honest any of the choices before those of us that are gay and Mormon are tough. Any of the 3 choices we make cause us to sacrifice something important. It is simply reality. So each of us as individuals in our own situations have to choose what we can live with and live without.

True, the stories she shares about mixed-orientation marriages do not end well. Perhaps she didn't have those stories to share. As MOHO Hawaii said, most of those men and women will stay pretty closeted in their lives. As you are experiencing it is sort of necessary to be in the closet to avoid harsh judgements.

I am sorry that you felt empty when you read her book. I think that you did because it offered very little hope for success in your situation.

It is true Beck, that mix-orientatin marriages aren't successful. And even if no one has ever before been successful, which I am sure is not true, that doesn't mean that you cannot be successful.

You are the creator of your own life. You make it what you want it to be and hopefully you will also get from your life what you want and need!

I have found that she is very responsive to communication. I would recommend emailing her. Perhaps she can spread light on why she didn't focus more on mixed-orientation marriages. Share your story with her. She will respond, she will be heart-felt and she will appreciate your story.

I hope another one of my long ramblings helped.

Much Love to You!

~Damon

Beck said...

DICHO: I feel like you're offended at my detour in this certain aspect of the review of the book. I hope you don't feel like I'm grateful or that I think you're crazy to have recommended it. Just the opposite is true. It has been a wonderful experience (remember I was crying with emotion of compassion and understanding and connection so much so on an airplane that I had to delay getting off to gain some composure).

I don't lament the book at all in the overall message and in getting out the need to support our gay members for NOT marrying (if they so choose) as you've pointed out. I support all of these sentiments.

All I was saying is that maybe there should be a CLP book on "More Hellos" or something along the line of stories (with drama) of those, unlike herself, where success has been found, marriages have worked, and suicide or divorce, or excommunication haven't been the only alternatives. It's just a thought. I just felt a void and this blog is about that void, not that the book isn't worthy of praise or that I feel it should be thrown in the trash.

Because I have a void makes me wonder about my wife having an even bigger void. That's all... these are thoughts I'm just expressing openly with no clear conclusion yet.

What I would like to do, with your kind permission, is to keep the book for awhile and leave it out and mention to my wife that I've read it and let her decide if she's interested as well - maybe building from our Sunday's discussion.

I agree that dialogue and communication are vital to success here. I felt very encouraged by Sunday's discussion, even though it ended with some slight turmoil. There was more positive than negative.

Again, you are right! I honor you for your friendship and your example of marital communication skills. Just be patient as we each move in slightly different speeds (some more glacial than others).

Beck said...

DAMON: I need to reread the beginning. I felt better at the beginning. It got worse as it went along and the feeling of hopelessness entered.

Maybe I should email her. What would I say? I'm not here to pick on her or her choices of what she included or excluded from her selected examples - I don't even want to champion my cause (whatever that means). I'd hate to feel sympathy for my stupidity. Heaven knows I've had enough of that.

Thanks for you kind words, Damon. I appreciate them more than you know and I am grateful for your encouragement. Your long ramblings are always helpful!!!

Philip said...

I think most mixed orientation marriages do fail and I would even go so far as to say that most mixed orientation marriages that survive are not happy nor healthy for the parties involved but I know of a few mixed orientation marriages that not only have survived but are thriving and I don't think those marriages should be dismissed or discounted just because they are in a small minority.

(that was some run on sentence)

I guess what I'm saying is that I wouldn't recommend a gay/bi-straight marriage because of all the difficulties involved and if I had to do it over again I wouldn't however I know 2 gay/bi-straight couples in open marriages and 2 bi-straight couples in monogamous marriages that have totally convinced me that they are truly happy even though it wasn't easy for any of them and I believe them when they say if they had it to do over again that they would.

(another great run on sentence)

It just burns me when someone struggling in their monogamous marriage tries to shut down someone in a successful open marriage because there are so few open marriages where both parties are happy and thriving.

And it burns me just as much when someone struggling in their open marriage tries to shut down someone in a monogamous marriage because there are so few monogamous marriages where both parties are happy and thriving.

I don't understand why folks distrust couples that made their MOM work because it's not the path that they would take and anyway these couples are in such a tiny minority.

And I don't understand why folks just can't respect couples that tried and failed to make their MOM work considering how difficult it is.

Regards,
Philip

Dichotomy said...

Oh dear...

DICHO: I feel like you're offended at my detour in this certain aspect of the review of the book. I hope you don't feel like I'm grateful or that I think you're crazy to have recommended it.

Not at all. It I have any regrets at all about giving you the book or about your reaction to it (and I don't think that I do) it would only be that I feel like I've contributed to some turmoil in your life. I'm not offended or bothered by any of this.

I hope that I (and my wife) haven't come on too strong in recommending communication. Really all we want to do is share what has worked for us and what we believe would be good for any marriage, but we're far from perfect and we recognize that every person, every couple, and every situation is different.

My suggestion as to what you might do with the book was only meant to indicate that the decision on where to go from here is, of course, entirely your own. In re-reading it I realize that it could easily be seen as the remark of one who has been offended. I apologize for that. Of course you're welcome to keep the book for as long as you want.

I wonder if you might have skipped or forgotten the chapter "Choosing and Keeping the Star-Crossed Love"? It starts on p.101. It's a short chapter, which is to be expected given the statistics. It's also not entirely uplifting, but it does offer hope for us MOMs.

My wife was reading the book and had gotten through p.100 (the entire marriage section of the book, minus the above-mentioned chapter) when we went to the temple for the first time after I came out to her. She was miserable through the entire session--she didn't feel peaceful and she didn't feel the Spirit and she had very little hope for the future.

When we got home she picked the book up again and read "Choosing and Keeping the Star-Crossed Love" and kicked herself for not having gone just one chapter further before we went to the temple. It made all the difference in her outlook.

Go back and read that chapter again. Dog-ear the pages and color the whole thing in with a highlighter if you want, so that when you're ready to give the book to your wife her attention will be drawn to it.

They aren't necessarily the success stories you're looking for, but they are stories of people who are striving for success, just like we are. Surely that's better than nothing?

Dichotomy said...

Bother... That paragraph following the quote should read:

Not at all. If I have any regrets...

Anonymous said...

I have also read CLP's book. Wonderful.

Here is the deal. My best friend is someone who describes himself as "LDS SSA." He refuses to use the word gay. But he has had many gay relationships, including a live-in on which lasted 3 years. He is now married, and I am concerned about his future prospects.

I think what is needed is for a public answer to CLP. I want to know that MOM can work. Unfortunately, those stories don't make it to the public.

What we need is some sort of documentation-- we need stories of MOM which have survived for at least 20 years with the parties being out.

If there are not such stories to report, then I think my friend will not face a hopeful future with the LDS church.

Superstar said...

I met one of my newest friends and his wife because he was having an affair with my roommate. My roommate just happened to have caught an STD and was too afraid to tell any of the two dozen or more married men in Utah Valley he'd done things with about it. And it literally was dozens.

So like Carol Lynn Pearson, the story I would tell is colored by my own experience. I suppose it might be a story that's a mix of disappointment and anger.

Sometimes I even seem to carry the same smugness that a lot of true-to-the-faith MOM men seem to have because I made the "right" choice instead of the one I could have made by marrying a woman.

As you've said, it's hard enough to open up to your wife. And all the stories we have either written or sourced in LDS publications telling about the success stories like yours are from men who wish to remain anonymous.

For some reason, a story is a story when we get more of a character than "anonymous." And as others have said, Carol Lynn has had a different path and her perspective is colored by different stories, different concerns.

Keep on writing your story here, and eventually elsewhere if you choose. It's yours alone to tell, and I wouldn't want it told by anyone else.

Damon said...

Beck,

If you really want to email her...what would you say? Share your story.

Tell her you read her book and were uplifted and overcome with emotion in the beginning, but that at the end you felt a little hopeless because you are hoping for your situation to be successful. Ask her for advice, ask for the stories you seek. If she has them, she'll share.

She will be understanding. Although, I will tell you that she will probably not tell you anything you haven't heard here, if you ask for advice. And like Dichotomy, I really think communication is extremely important. If you really expect to have lasting success you're going to have to find a way to open those lines.

You can find her email address at www.clpearson.com.

~Damon

Hidden said...

I cannot speak directly for CLP (though she is a good friend), because I am not her; however, here's my input for what it's worth...

Keep in mind as you come away from NMG that because there are so many of us and so much turmoil, struggle, breaking and succeding, some of the material contained therein reflects far more than its face value.

I will confess that I am in NMG on page 7. A quote of two lines. Behind those lines is a 6-page essay I sent to CLP when I was first coming out and struggling to accept myself. She wrote back and was very sweet, offering her support and thanking me for telling my story. Nevertheless, her book had already grown beyond its bounds. Originally it was to document the struggle of gays in a number of religions, but then there were just too many, so she focused on those closer to her own religion, mormons. She had far more material than she could ever hope to squeeze into one book. She asked if she could quote me, and I said yes; thus, 6 pages became a two lines.

So what I'm saying is remember that whatever you read in a book like this carries far more weight than just the words that appear. These are stories of real people, real lives, real conflicts and real successes. The book is just a sampling, and does not include ALL it should, for it cannot.

~Hidden's two cents

MoHoHawaii said...

Shouldn't such compassion, tolerance, love and understanding have room to embrace the MOMs out there and encourage their willing partners to succeed instead of routing on the predestined and predicted, inevitability of failure?

Is that asking for too much?


That's not too much to ask.

I hope the best for you and your wife. For me the solution is compromise and accommodation on both sides. The length of your marriage is evidence that you have the capacity to do this.

Go for it!

Beck said...

DICHO said: "If I have any regrets at all about giving you the book or about your reaction to it (and I don't think that I do) it would only be that I feel like I've contributed to some turmoil in your life."

My life is full of turmoil, but no more than anyone else. Believe me, this has not been any turmoil beyond normal. If anything, it has given me a lot to think about and to learn. So, I can only say, thank you.

As for the star-crossed chapter: Yes, I re-read it and it is probably one of the best for me and fellow MOMs. It is offered as an olive branch to those who are trying to stick out this quest of keeping a MOM together. I can hang some hope on this chapter. It is now dog-tagged and underlined... though I'm still a bit low in my bucket on the hope level. Being a statistical anomaly doesn't help. Or does it? Maybe it can make me just that much more eager to prove everyone wrong and beat those impossible or inevitable odds.

Can anyone say "certifiably crazy"?

Beck said...

ANON: If those stories exist, I don't know where they are.

SUPER: I hope you don't think I'm one of those "smug ones". I don't want to portray that my path is the "right" path for anyone. And I don't wish my life on anyone. I am grateful for what I have and I'm trying to hang onto it. I kid about having a "boyfriend" on the side, but I never have and other than fantasizing, never will. I am who I am and this is MY story!

DAMON: I think I will write CLP and see what response I get. Thanks for the lead.

Beck said...

HIDDEN: You are a celebrity in our midst. Actually, I know of another story later in the book. He is the older brother of a dear friend of mine. I know these stories are real and written with real passion reflecting real struggles and real successes of real people. I know these are tidbits and the editors did a disservice on some being cut to just a few lines (such as yours). Thank you for contributing. Thank you for bringing a face to this discussion.

I know all subjects of all varieties of the human gay experience cannot be equally emphasized.

I'm chillin'. I'm okay. The good way exceeds any slight.

Dicho's Wife (...need an alias...) said...

Beck,

I am sitting here with tears falling down my cheeks, not because I am sad, but because I feel your pain. I remember how many tissues I went through, ibuprofins I took for my headaches, time I spent lying awake thinking of all the painful stories I was reading about, relating those painful stories to my own situation. As I started the "star-crossed loves" section, I read the words "Should I smile because we're friends, or cry because that's all we'll ever be." I tried to read it to Dichotomy, and ended up in tears, which resulted in a long hug between us. But even though I remember how sad those times were, I am so grateful for them. For the conversations that resulted. For the strength that came from the pain…

Ask anyone that I work with and they will tell you that I was in tears nearly every day last school year, and that was prior to the "coming out". I was struggling with confidence and stress and getting along with my bishop over trivial callings and I wanted to quit my job and my church callings (actually, I did quit my church callings, all but the one leading the music in relief society, in which I didn’t have to be under the scrutiny of the bishop) and I really wanted to stay home from church, but I knew I couldn’t.

Now, even after just a week of being around my co-workers, they have noticed a change in me. I feel it, too. A confidence I’ve never had before. The ability to tell them about my interesting summer and MOM without crying, but instead with firm confidence that our marriage is stronger than it has ever been, our relationship is closer and more incredible than it has ever been, that the communication between us has reached unthinkable levels from someone as quiet and shy as dichotomy (and myself as well.)

I remember the pain, but I am blessed with the strength. I shared those words with Dichotomy through those tears of pain for you and your wife. He was struck with a thought regarding pain and healing. Our daughter broke her arm on the trampoline in March (night before spring break, in fact.) It looked a bit like Harry Potter’s arm when the bone was removed magically…eek. In order for it to heal properly, it had to be set. Setting the bone is such a painful process that they sedated her to do it. She is petrified by needles and was traumatized by the prospect and process of getting an IV. Do we regret putting her through that pain? Well, it is sad to think about, but no we don’t. We couldn’t have her arm looking like a swan’s neck for the rest of her life, could we? She had to go through the pain so that she could heal.

Reading the book is up to the individual. Different individuals will experience different things from reading it. I myself am grateful for the pain and subsequent healing that came from it. My experience urges me to encourage others to read it. Whether they want to read it or gain from it what I did is up to them.

Damon, I think, recommended that I email CLP about my mother-in-law’s reaction to the book (she thinks every mormon should read it, part of the “standard works”, lol). I promptly received a very loving response from CLP. Whether or not she would ever write a book with happy MOM stories in it, I don’t know. But I know that she does not mind receiving such stories, and I agree that it might not be a bad thing to email her with your story.

As I have been writing this saga, I think maybe I agree that I should start my own blog, if only I could think of a name…

Beck said...

MOHOH: You didn't need to come back and say that. I know how you feel about me and I appreciate your constant encouragement helping me see clearly.

Like I told Hidden, I'm chillin'. I'm okay!

Thanks for being there and following along my side.

Beck said...

DICHO-W: You really do need a name. How about "Speranza"? That's Italian for Hope. It's feminine and yet strong! You, through your tears (that I certainly hope aren't caused by me), are a voice and source of "speranza" for all of us!

I would love to see you blog, to learn from you as you open up to your school, to your church, to your family, and as you and Dicho work together for a stronger, more hopeful future.

That is the spirit of "speranza"!

Ron Schow said...

Beck

I appreciate the candor of your discouragement to some extent in your response to "No More Goodbyes" and the discussion it has generated.

I agree with Dichotomy that "Choosing and Keeping the Star Crossed Love" pp. 101-108 is important as a chapter which addresses those who choose and stay in MOMs. It could be longer, of course, but I believe it covers the issues most have mentioned in the comments above. If you read carefuly what it says there, my feeling is that it sums the situation up pretty well and cites several examples of those in marriages like yours. And as many have suggested above, these stories tend to be complex, like yours, and she may not have recieved a great many because of the closet issues.

But, here is what she says on p. 106.

...there are valid reasons for creating a union between a person who is gay and a person who is straight, and there are valid reasons for maintaining that union. If both parties are very open about what is important to them, if sexual infidelity does not mar either trust or health, if this is what they choose with no misapprehensions, these marriages deserve to be honored. Star crossed they may be in terms of romantic love and sex, but perhaps there are other stars that bless them."

Second hand stories some have cited above, quoting CLP, therefore, I believe misrepresent her true position. I don't believe the quote above and the marriages she describes in that chapter, for example, square with this statement (from a comment above)

"CLP has sought out these stories, and those, combined with her own have made her convinced that such marriages not only cannot survive, but they should not be entered into in the first place."

Here are her final words from that chapter.

"I speak for romantic love.
I speak too for trusting the mystery, for forgiveness, for believing that love in all its forms can never be undone. And that not only in eternity, but here hidden under the grey, all is well and all manner of things shall be well."

I think the chapter is really quite beautiful in addressing the many complexities of MOMs and being hopeful that "all is well."

As some have suggested, there could be a book that is totally focused on MOMs which succeed, but given the cautions of Elder Holland in the last October Ensign about MOMs, I think we have to ask whether these marriages should be encouraged, discouraged or has CLP, in fact, achieved the right balance?

Damon said...

Dicho's Wife-

It was actually Mark, not me who suggested you share your story with CLP.

And I agree you should have your own blog, I would be a faithful reader. I love Beck's suggestion for a name...speranza!!

Let us know once you've done it. As your husband and Beck provide inspiration to gay LDS men...some who are and others who are not in marriages, I would venture to guess that you would provide similar inspiration not only to those men but to their wives also.

~Damon

Kengo Biddles said...

I vote Esperanza, personally. And Miki and I are actually working toward writing a book about this, if only to show that it's possible, that there are people doing it. it's not skittles and beer, but it's a workable thing, just like any marriage.

Beck said...

RON: Thank you for the insights. Your calm and steady view counters my over-reactive and sometimes too-passionate-to-see-anything-let-alone-perspective view.

As I've reread your words, I feel more calm and steady.