Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Absence of Gay Marriage is the Real Threat to Families

I'll give you a minute to prepare...or stop seeing red...


If gay men and women, had the option to choose marriage to someone of their same sex (you know, someone they are actually in love with- mind, body, & soul), most of them would obviously go that route (now stay with me).

With more gays marrying gays, that means less gays marrying straights.

When less gays marry straights, that means less children coming into marriages that are statistically bound to fail.  



And this means, less destruction of families, less divorce, due to the misery of a mom and dad who are not of the same sexual orientation and are banging their heads against walls.  

Children of divorce.  Misery of the spouses.

Now, that's with divorce.  

Without divorce, you have children raised with a type of nurturing that is bathed in the misery of their parents.  Mine were.  

{Sidenote (I like sidenotes):  I believe that many people, especially those of the religious right, don't see happiness as an important part of life.  Or maybe their definition of happiness has more to do with how they appear, with fitting into their religious/cultural mold, and putting aside their own unique identities.  Who am I to say that is not a form of happiness for them?}  

I want to quote again from CLP's No More Goodbyes (I use this source often because for decades people in marriages like mine have been sharing with her).  One of the countless gay men that have reached out to her, wrote of his marriage to "Janet".  He said,

"I've been married for three years to 'Janet,' a girl I've known since childhood. Our marriage is wonderful.  It's sweet.  It's the most precious gift Heavenly Father has given me.  It amazes me even still...At any rate, Janet and I have encountered the dumbfoundingly complicated difficulties of our situation...
I would truly love nothing on this planet more than to view my sweet wife as most men view women. It makes my heart ache that I can't give that to her."  (NMG's, p. 102) 

Sure, life does not come without difficulties.  But why knowingly choose this type of union to add extraordinary difficulty to a life that already ain't no picnic- cause, you know, life can be impressively challenging.  

Carol Lynn also shares a very personal account of holding her dying husband,  

"'Gerald, what would have happened if you had just made yourself stay?  If you had just made yourself put away that other part of you, just gritted it out, what would have happened?'  
He thought only for a moment.  'You would have watched me die in a different way, that's all.  Bit by bit, I would have gotten bitter and empty and ugly.  That 'other part of me' isn't just a part, you know.  It's the center.  People don't understand that.'"  (NMG's, p. 69)

I was the straight spouse.  We die, too.  As I have explained it to others, the feminine part of me had been shoved into a closet (aren't closets handy?).  I couldn't let her out, because then I would have to face what I was living without, and it would have eaten me alive.  Remember, denial and repression were my BFF's.  

My poor kids.  They were the brunt of fits of rage I would have, triggered by teeny tiny things.  But never mind the rage, I still struggle with the mommy guilt that I was so often unavailable for my 2 older children.  I just didn't know how to be emotionally present for them, because I was not emotionally present for myself.  I was slowly eroding, unable to give when fighting to thrive.  


The Boy Who Lived (in My Head)

I had to create false realities to cope.  The BIG one for me was The Boy.

When I was 15, I thought I'd fallen in love.  This boy.  Damn.  He was that delish Eurotrash type with the pale skin, dark hair, broody, listened to The Pixies, et al, that we referred to as Progs (btw, I'm now into swarthy Italians).  I loved him and pined for him from afar until high school graduation.  Then at college, thousands of miles away, I thought I still loved him.  These feeling and thoughts of a young, naive girl who knew nothing about mature romantic love, continued.  Then I married Matt and put them aside.  

Then one day (I'm sure this story will be a whole blog post in itself~ only snippets of the story for today), when I was depressed,  I thought of boy.  Then I felt guilty.  Then a couple years later, I thought of boy again and cried.  As I cried, I thought, "I still love him!"  Then, like, a year after that, I contacted boy and cried lots and lots.  Then I started living a separate fairy tale in my head about boy.  I told Matt I wanted to be with boy.  (It may sound like I was going crazy a little bit, but it will all make more sense in the more detailed post)

In my desperate state I was looking for someone to save me.  Make me feel beautiful!  Make me feel feminine!  Attack me!  Devour me!  Worship my body!  Good Lord, please!  Before I cry myself into a shriveled, withered state of human being-ness!  Before my gaunt and emaciated soul poofs out of existence!

This became a full on sitch, on top of a full on sitch.  Matt did not take this well.  Understandably.  We were, like, married and all.  *please make a note that I did not have an affair*

I had to believe in this fairy tale for survival.  And the price I paid for believing was even more angst and anguish in an already sucky situation. More misery for Matt and I to doggy-paddle through while our kids needed us so much. 

Other fairy tales I believed in were un-fairy tales.  Like, no one really has good sex.  Sex isn't really about passion. My neighbor who told me about the great sex on her honeymoon was obviously lying, cause that is not real.  

Survival.  Plain and simple.

Let the Gays Marry Each Other Already 

Those currently in a mixed-orientation marriage, I truly do not know what to tell you.  I feel your...everything.  I understand.  Nurture your kids by showing them what awesome partners the 2 of you are.  This is PARAMOUNT!  Whatever you ultimately decide, decide as friends, best of friends. 

I think a huge trap a lot of young people in mixed-orientation dating relationships fall into is believing that this can be different for them, that they will be the ones to break the mold and reverse a situation that counters logic.  Also, they don't realize the dating relationship is a lot different than marriage (can I get a What What!).  While you're dating, and this was true for Matt and I, it's so exciting to hold hands and kiss and lay on top of another real live person while kissing- especially when you're a virgin (the Mormon faith teaches no sex before marriage).  And exciting to identify with each other in goals and dreams and youth and hope.

You young'uns don't want me to burst your fairy tale bubble.  I'm sorry.  But you have potential children in your insides.  And if you guys get married, you have potential children of divorce and/or a very special kind of misery.


62 comments:

  1. Thank you for your raw, blunt perspective. I whole-heartedly agree.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your perspective. Reading this as a homosexual who is mirthfully married to a different homosexual, i suppose i do not essentially assume that if gays cannot unify to somebody of constant sex, they will default to marrying somebody of the alternative sex. But, then, maybe that it additional a perform of the cultural and spiritual surroundings you mature in. more detail click here http://www.shushmanchester.co.uk

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  2. Thanks for sharing your perspective. Reading this as a gay man who is happily married to another gay man, I guess I don't necessarily assume that if gays can't get married to someone of the same sex, they'll default to marrying someone of the opposite sex. But, then, perhaps that it more a function of the cultural and religious surroundings you grow up in.

    I will say, I've known several men who identified as gay but were married to women. From the outside looking in, it was easy to see their misery and to recognize the potential destruction that would happen when their misery came to a head.

    Again, thanks for sharing your perspective.

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  3. Christao408 said it best. Your decisions have been influenced by your religion. "Your reality is not my reality". I knew what "gay" was and understood it long before you did. I know that there is no "fixing" me. Your "hahaha" reply to my blogpost was not what I expected. What many may perceive as bravery and honesty about your story I perceive as naivety and stupidity. Perhaps the absence of gay marriage isn't the real threat to families here Ashley. Did you ever think that maybe the presence of religion was the real threat? Just a different way to think about it. I love you. Thanks for your perspective on things.

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  4. And, Christao408, the default choice to marry opposite sex, I would assume, be those who are religiously inclined (or at least raised that way and are frightened to be honest in their culture/family). That is why I say in my post "most" of them would marry someone of the same sex. The rest are the ones I mention here in this comment. You would be shocked to know how many marry "traditionally" within the LDS church alone.

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  5. You are brave and honest to share your story. The idea that you can change one's sexual orientation (to me) is naive and stupid. That's what I meant.

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  6. You never answered me, so I guess I still thought you were coming from a place where you were backing the Mormon church and pointing the finger in any direction but the church for your decision to enter into a traditional man/woman marriage with a gay man. I blame organized religion for programming you to think that homosexuality is fixable... therefore also meaning that it is wrong. There is nothing to be fixed here and my sexual orientation is not wrong. You were raised into it. You didn't really have a choice. Your life experience is making you understand that maybe it's all a crock now though. I like that. LOVE LOVE LOVE you.

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    1. I didn't get the sense that Ashley isn't blaming the church, I think she was just trying to say that the prohibition on gay marriage is another factor that contributes to the idea that homosexuality is bad, an idea that ultimately led to her marriage. I think she's saying it's part of culture that marginalizes homosexuality and some gays marrying straights is a symptom of that culture.
      I think legalizing gay marriage would make it less likely that gays enter into marriages with heterosexuals not because they suddenly have the option to marry a person of the same sex, but because the act of legalizing gay marriage would go a long way to de-marginalizing--or legitimizing--homosexuality. So what I mean is, if it were legal, the stigma of being gay would begin to fall away. And I think, eventually (not saying this would happen over night)even churches that currently think it's wrong, would end up having to embrace it. This would then put an end to the idea that homosexuality is something that needs to be fixed by marrying a straight person. Honestly, isn't this one of the reasons why the LGTB community is fighting so hard for the right to marry? Isn't it, more than anything, about acceptance and equality--about legitimacy? I could be wrong, that is just my perspective.

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  7. I was the straight girl in a church based mixed orientation relationship. A long time ago. Pre Internet etc. We believed we could do it and be that couple that makes it work (wrong!). It was before gay marriage was even on the agenda for legality. But if it had been, that would have been one more huge piece of information telling us that it was unlikely to work. My kids are growing up with positive, loving role models in their friends parents gay marriages "which of her moms is collecting us from swim team?" is as complicated as it gets.

    Let gays marry each other. Stop them marrying the rest of us! Said with true love and intense, painful, life altering personal experience.

    THANK YOU for sharing Ashley!!! The church I was in was ready to shove many tracts down my throat about praying away the gay. Not one person showed me a testimony like yours. I am so glad that it is available to people to see.

    FWIW I think Josh Weed seems like a nice guy and pretty well intentioned, although that is now mixed in with a heady dose of addictively huge accolades from his own authority figures. I doubt that he set out to be a poster child for the Mormon 'just co exist with your homosexuality' movement, but he and his beautiful family sure are fitting in there now. So I think he meant well, but I also believ the damaging effect of what he is saying will massively outweigh any "my truth deserves to be told" value. Yes, it is his truth, however good it is or is not. It is his truth. But my truth was way way worse than that. Distraught disapointment on both sides. Ashley, thanks for stepping up and shouting out the more likely outcome.

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  8. I really enjoy reading you blog even if I vehemently disagree with your viewpoints. Please keep writing - you have a great talent.

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  9. You are absolutely amazing!!! You are so right about so many things you said. I can tell you that as a Lesbian woman, born and raised in Utah and LDS, it has been extremely hard. Especially when i don't fit what "lesbian" is to so many people. I hear "you don't LOOK gay" or.... "what a waste" or.... "you always had boyfriends, something MUST have happened to you"....NO no nope, i am gay, always was, i just didn't realize it. And once i did... the truth could not have been clearer. I guess my point here is... i came SO close to marrying in the traditional sense. Ironically to a gay man, we met, shared our feelings as a Mormon Lesbian and a Mormon return missionary boy and we thought we were meant to be! Gay as can be, we dated for a year, and held hands, peck kissed and wrote little love letters. But when it came down to it, i had no desire to have sex with a man, wasn't "in love" with him and simply knew i was living a lie. He on the other hand opened up his own business (a flower shop) ;) and then ended up marrying a woman, and is now unhappily married and living a lie. We spoke about three months ago and 17 years later this gay man is miserable as can be living with his straight wife who resents him for marrying her, two kids and feels he has no way out.
    Gay marriage.....it not only is the right thing to do, its so important for the future of our country. People deserve to marry who they love, not who everyone else says they should.

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