Back in June, I published a post consisting of comments from "Jeff" about his mixed-orientation marriage. Yesterday, via comments on that post, he updated me on his situation. So that his thoughts get the exposure they deserve, I am publishing them here in this post.
So much has happened in my life since I wrote this last entry to you in July. Would you indulge me for a moment? I feel that you were a source of hope during a particularly bleak period of my life. Let me just preface by saying that the changes that have occurred in my life lately are only part of a journey that I have been engaged in for a very long time. Reading blogs and stories from many people like yourself, Joseph, have only helped me to realize that I am not alone. I am no longer a mistake that God or my parents made. I am me, and I am beautiful. I still carry on my shoulders the guilt and shame that are the result of growing up in the LDS church, and to a larger extent, our society. But, I have hope that perhaps God does not hate me. Perhaps God loves me. Perhaps being gay was something natural that I was born with, along with brown hair and ten fingers. Or perhaps it was a result of a troubled childhood and lack of male affection early on in my life. I do not know entirely. But I do know that God wants me to be happy, and I was not happy in a mixed-orientation marriage.
You were right. If I wasn't gay I would still not be happy in the marriage that I was in. One morning in June I woke up and had the strong feeling that if I divorced my wife, it would be devastating to my children, but they would eventually be better off because they would be able to see life with me, away from and without the influence of their mother. You see, my wife has so many mental and emotional issues that my children are being raised in chaos and instability. If I could get away, they could see what life could be like without the chaos and with so much more stability. So, with that insight, and holding on to faith and hope, I told my wife around the middle of July that I wanted a divorce. Being the narcissistic and bipolar person that she is, you can imagine that the last few months have been a roller coaster.
I filed for divorce, got an attorney, and began pursuing the right to have guardianship of my children. The children were devastated, as you can imagine. But things are getting better. They genuinely love me, and they love spending time with me. We have so much better quality time together, even though for the time being it is limited. But, for the time that they are with me, they experience stability and peace. My new apartment is clean, peaceful and a bright example of an alternative to the chaos that they live with every day with their mother.
This decision that I made, ultimately, was because of the chaos, anger and negativity of my wife. The unhappiness in my marriage was not 100% due to my wife. The sexual frustrations played a big part for me. However, my ultimate decision to divorce was entirely because of her. I realized that my kids would actually have a greater chance in the long run if they knew me as a healthy, complete person, and could experience stability and peaceful living.
One additional thing, the first hearing last month determined that my kids would continue to stay with my wife for the time being until further assessment could be completed. I live in a very conservative community, so my wife's lawyer asked me a question that she thought would damage my case. She asked, "Are you gay?" I paused for a moment and replied, "Yes." I added no more comment. You could have heard a pin drop, though, in the courtroom. Afterwards, my family, who doesn't fully grasp the seriousness of my feelings, tried to tell me how wrong and damaging it was to my case that I said 'yes'. However, I didn't feel that way. It felt liberating in a way to be able to just come out and say it. I wasn't ashamed or embarrassed. I felt happy about it. If it really hurts my case, then come what may. I don't want to lie anymore. According to my family, I "suffer" from same-sex attraction. Apparently, it's like a permanent disease, not a characteristic of my identity. We'll have our sit-down soon. They'll either love me or hate me. Either way, I will continue to just love myself. It's taken me 38 years to be able to be comfortable with the fact that I am gay. I suppose they might need a little time as well.
But the information that leaked last week from the Church really put a whole new spin on my situation, as you can imagine. Two of my daughters are already baptized. One of them is six, and she really wants me to baptize her. This is a whole new dilemma that I was not prepared to deal with. I can't believe that this is happening at the same time as my divorce. So, my thoughts race as to what to do now. Do I just put up the facade that I'm the good Mormon who suffers with SSA, or do I completely come clean. Not sure yet about that one.
Anyways, I thought you would find my story of interest. Thank you for your kind words before. They helped center my thoughts a bit more in preparation for this stage in my life.