Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My Marriage, Oversimplified in Four Lists

Reasons I Married FoxyJ
  1. She is an amazing person. I loved her, I enjoyed spending time with her, I wanted to share my life with her.
  2. I believed--most of the time, at least--in the LDS Church, which teaches that homosexual relationships are sinful. As far as I was concerned, marrying a woman was my only option, and I could not imagine being happily married to any woman besides FoxyJ.
  3. When I considered ending the engagement because I was unsure if I could commit to the marriage, I couldn't bear the thought of hurting FoxyJ.
  4. I prayed about it and felt that getting married was the right thing to do.
Reasons I Stayed Married for Five Years Despite Recurring Doubts
  1. She is an amazing person. I loved her, I enjoyed spending time with her, I wanted to share my life with her.
  2. Even when I no longer believed in the LDS Church, I believed in the commitment I'd made to her. A change in religion does not automatically absolve one of responsibility to the promises one made while under the influence of that religion.
  3. When I considered ending the marriage, I couldn't bear the thought of hurting FoxyJ, and later S-Boogie, and later Little Dude.
  4. I prayed about it and felt that staying married was the right thing to do.
Reasons I Have Chosen to End the Marriage
  1. She is an amazing person. I love her, I enjoy spending time with her, I would like to share my life with her, but as much as all those things are true they don't take away from the constant desire to share my life with a man or the emptiness I've felt for years. Despite frequent moments of joy, overall I was unhappy with my life. My unhappiness, as much as I tried to mask it, hurt FoxyJ.
  2. Once I no longer believed in the LDS Church and the option of a homosexual relationship became at least theoretically possible, it became increasingly difficult for me to convince myself that I could be happy without pursuing that option. I spent more time convincing myself that I should stay married than I did simply being married, even before I left the LDS faith.
  3. When I considered ending the marriage, I couldn't bear the thought of hurting FoxyJ, S-Boogie, and Little Dude, but nor could I bear the thought of hurting them over the coming years as I continued in the pattern of silent discontent, expressed doubt, and guilt-induced recommitment to stay. Looking into the future, it became clear to me that the marriage was not sustainable, and as much as it hurts everyone now, divorce would only hurt more after we have invested even more of our lives into the marriage and the children are older.
  4. I will not say that I prayed about it and felt that divorce was the right thing to do. I will not blame God for this decision--the responsibility is mine. Choosing to get married and later stay married not because I really wanted to but because it was the right thing to do did not lead to my happiness or to FoxyJ's. I will say, though, that I have prayed about this decision a lot, and I feel at peace with it.
Reasons Ending the Marriage Hurts
  1. She is an amazing person. If you have any doubts, consider the fact that she and I took a week-long road trip together after the plans for divorce had been set in motion, after I had hurt her so profoundly. We visited family and friends--some who knew and some who didn't--and we had a lot of fun together. FoxyJ has every reason to be angry at me, and I'm sure she is to some degree or another (depending on the day, I imagine), but she treats me with the same love and concern that she always has.
  2. In doing this I am making a significant break from the LDS faith I grew up with and that many of the people I love still hold. I am also breaking a serious commitment I made to someone I love dearly, and I fear the consequences for everyone affected by this decision.
  3. I cannot bear the thought of hurting FoxyJ, S-Boogie, or Little Dude, and yet here I am doing it. I will do everything I can to ease that pain and especially to ensure that my children always know that they have two parents who love them, but I do not fool myself into believing that anything I do will make this completely right for them.
  4. The peace I mentioned above has come only after a lot of internal anguish and frustration. I have felt angry at myself for the decisions I've made, angry at the LDS Church for the role it's played in my decisions, and angry at God by association. My relationship with the Church is best left alone for now, I think, and I'm at peace with it to that extent, but healing my self-image and my relationship with God is a work in progress and I imagine it will be for some time.


A note on comments:

You may notice that I've removed the option of commenting anonymously. If you're going to comment, I want to know at least your chosen pseudonym.

Comments expressing empathy, love, kindness, encouragement, or anything along those lines are welcome.

Comments expressing judgment, contempt, mockery, self-righteousness, or anything along those lines are not welcome. As FoxyJ said this morning, the decision has been made. You will not succeed in convincing me to change my mind. You will not succeed in proving to anyone that you are a better person than I. You will not succeed in showing the world what a clever person you are. You will only succeed in hurting me, and if your intention is to hurt people then perhaps you should stop for a moment and ask yourself why no one likes to talk to you at parties. I will not delete comments that hurt me because by that point the damage will have been done. I will delete comments that may potentially hurt FoxyJ or our children.

And, lest I end on that note, thank you to all the people who have already shown love and support and an advance thank you to all who will.

36 comments:

TK said...

1. This was very clearly written, showing a lot of clear thought on your part. Thank you for sharing with us.

2.In my mind, I personally don't see anyone as being a better person than anyone else. However, even if I did, I would have serious doubts about the ability of anyone being able to prove themselves a 'better preson than' you!

3. We love you and will continue to pray for your happiness and that of your family.

Th. said...

.

Ah, sweet sweet oversimplification....

TK said...

Re: your note on comments.

I hope nothing I've said (now or earlier) was mistaken for any of those things (judgment, etc. all the way through to changing your mind, being clever, etc.).

I've too often found that what I've tried to express was misunderstood, when I only meant to express concern. If I share my thoughts and feelings, it's not an indication that I expect you to either agree or to feel the same. And least of all, would I want to hurt you. I'm sorry that you've had to go through so much, but as I said before, I admire your efforts to stay in tune with what the Lord would have you do, and to always be considerate of others.

ecogrrl said...

As a lurker and someone who isn't in the Fob community, I've struggled with whether to post at all now - but because I read it, and because you open this very intimate window to your life in such a candid, honest fasion, I want to at least let you know that I'm thinking of you and will hope for the best possible outcomes for you, FoxyJ, and the kids. Whatever that's worth.

Saule Cogneur said...

I sometimes find myself mad at the world, mad at God, mad at myself even. "Things aren't as they should be. It's not fair." And though I'm right, life is what it is, and I think that frustrates me most. As do the others, I hope the best for all of you.

MoHoHawaii said...

I followed a similar path as you. That was about 20 years ago. Like you I had two small children. I was married for five years. I was 27 when my marriage ended.

So, how did the longitudinal study of sample size 1 turn out? Raising kids was hard in a split family, but my ex-wife and I were able to do it. Both of my children are in college now and doing well. The divorce was absolutely the right thing in retrospect. Nobody ended up damaged, and I think overall the kids are better off than they would have been if we had stayed married. Both I and my ex-wife certainly ened up better off (she remarried... a straight man this time).

Best of luck to you and your family. We're rooting for you. It takes courage to make a change like this, and it's not easy.

Dad said...

Dear Son,

The real test in life is how well we love and forgive one another - even with differences, even when angered, even when hurt.

I have and do hesitate posting any of my comments to your blogs in part because of how strongly I feel that personal journals should be more private, in part because it is so easy for others to miss the intentions of the written words and in part because of the awareness of how strong we can feel today about something that we feel entirely different about sometime in the future.

I love and respect you for doing what you believe to be right in-spite of the cost.

Any admonition, judgment or opinion from anyone other than the four of you is simply not appropriate. This decision is yours and yours alone to make.

May I suggest that you both hold on to the love that you have shared and let your children feel this love each day.

I wish you and your family all of the joy and happiness that you deserve.


Love,

Dad

skyeJ said...

Thanks for this post. I love you, and I hope you're taking care of yourself.

Chris said...

Much love to you, Master Fob. I'm happy to see that you and FoxyJ are working hard to take care of your children and yourselves during a difficult period of transition.

I've told you this privately, but I'll tell you again here: even though I'm on the opposite coast, please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and your family.

I'll be with my kids, KK and Jed this Sunday. We'll think of you all.

playasinmar said...

"A mighty pain to love it is, and 'tis a pain that pain to miss; but of all the pains, the greatest pain is to love, but love in vain." -Abraham Crowley

Scot said...

My condolences to all of you, Master Fob. It’s a sad circumstance, but I hope it leads you all to a better future. And, let me say, if that’s your dad, I am so glad you have such family to support you all through this.

ambrosia ananas said...

Bawb and I think very highly of both you and FoxyJ, and we adore S-Boogie and Little Dude. We wish the best for you all. You are all in our prayers.

Thirdmango said...

Knowing you so far has taught me that though times may be tough, you'll be able to get through it. Good luck guy, I wish you all the best.

Tusk said...

I'm not an official FOB either, but I hope things turn out well.
I disapprove of both homosexuality and divorce, but I guess that in itself is an oversimplified view.
Marriage is about loving and supporting your partner, and providing a solid base for your children. If you feel you won't be able to do that, then divorce is the right option.
Obviously you've tried your best, so no-one can fault you.
As long as you're there for FoxyJ (as a friend) and the kids (as a parent), then I truly believe things are for the best.
No matter where you stand with God and church (any) at this moment, I will be praying for you, Master Fob.

Elbow said...

Even though I have never met you, I love you and your family. I deeply regret that you are suffering right now, but I want you to know that I share in your struggle. I look up to you and I pray that you find the peace you are looking for. Your family will be blessed because of your honesty.

playasinmar said...

I hope this doesn't sound selfish but I do look forward to whatever you write in continuation of "Getting Out / Staying In"

-L- said...

Man, I need to put more comment guides on my blog, cuz they seem to work pretty well. :-)

I've learned to love you guys through your blogs and I wish you each all the happiness in the world. Even though we might not ever have the chance to do dinner with your family now when we visit Seattle, either of you are welcome any time you're in the East. :-)

Marcia said...

You and your family are in my thoughts. I hope this decision, painful as it may be, leads to greater happiness and contentment for all of you.

Sir Jupiter said...

I live all of 10 blocks away...take advantage of that.

mark said...

MasterFOB:

Although we have never met, I have admired from afar your courage and integrity. I wish that I could do something to help to carry your burden and to comfort you...words are a weak vessel at a time like this, but know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, with a hope that though you may be passing through "thorny ways" (to quote a hymn), there will come, in time, a "joyful end" of peace and wisdom and love.

mark

Gay LDS Actor said...

I was saddened to hear about your situation, but ultimately you need to do what you feel is best for you. I hope evrything works out to the benefit of all parties involved and that you are able to find what you are looking for.

Th. said...

.

"ultimately you need to do what you feel is best for you ... [and] hope evrything works out to the benefit of all parties involved"

Not to break apart the love here, but that's sort of crapshoot logic. I hope, if that had been the only reason, you wouldn't have done it--because that would have been purely selfish and rather irresponsible.

And while I can only hope you're right about the other reasons for taking this course of action, you did have other reasons. Let's not lay them aside.

Chris said...

It always troubles me when I see others tell a gay man leaving a mixed orientation that he is acting selfishly and irresponsibly.

Clearly, I am not an unbiased observer. I was married, and now I'm not. I actually think Master Fob is doing the ethical thing, the honest thing by taking responsibility for his actions in his marriage rather than passing the buck to God or Church. He's setting an example of integrity for his children.

I'm sure there are things going on here that I don't know about. Master Fob and I really don't know each other very well. But to suggest that someone who has been so open about the challenges involved in the course he has chose is now acting less than honorably is mean spirited.

Master Fob said...

Just to nip this one in the bud:

Th, GayLDSActor was saying something nice, and while I don't entirely disagree with your point, I don't want this to turn into a debate.

Chris, thanks for jumping up in my defense, but Th. really wasn't attacking me. He acknowledges there are other factors involved in my decision, and he knows me well enough to at least hope that I'm not acting out of pure selfishness.

Chris said...

Alright. I thought I might not really know what I'm talking about, but I felt the need to say something.

Th. said...

.

Yes, if I was attacking anyone I was attacking GLDSA. But I'ld like to think I wasn't attacking anybody.

Th. said...

.

Let me rephrase (my words may be clear, but I worry my intentions were not):

First, I was not attacking anyone. Let me make that clear.

Second, most of the comments here are expressions of love and respect and support for Master Fob as a person, to which agreeing or disagreeing with his decision is simply irrelevant.

The reason I commented on GLDSA's comment is because I was distressed by its implication that Master Fob is a fetterless human being whose only concern should be himself. I'm not suggesting that implication was GLDSA's intent, but that was the implication. And that implication is in poor contrast to what Master Fob's post was even about.

No person's actions are without consequence to other persons. Master Fob knows this, I know this, I imagine GLDSA knows this as well. And disregarding those consequences when making important decisions would indeed be irresponsible. We all know this and, I imagine, accept it--whether we like or not.

My comment was just to acknowledge this fact and to renote my hope that all the weights had been placed properly upon the scale. Master Fob knows how I feel about him and Foxy and their children and that I am most certainly aligned on the side of whichever decision is the right one. What I can't do is presume to know which side right is. And therefore all I can do is support the people involved.

Being misunderstood is a particular hobby of mine, but one thing I don't want misunderstood is my love for Master Fob and his family.

That is all.

TK said...

Sorry to take up more space, but I have to 'say DITTO' to TH.'s last comment which was very well put!

daltongirl said...

My family and I want you to know that you have our deepest sympathy for the pain you are going through, along with our best wishes that the future will bring much happiness and peace.

Chris said...

Sorry if I jumped in where I wasn't needed and where my understanding was lacking. Th, that all makes perfect sense.

John said...

Hey bud, can you email your phone number to me. A lot apparently has happened in the past few months, and I'd love to be able to chat with you sometime.

John.

Th. said...

.

No offense taken, Chris.

Katherine said...

I can't tell you how much hope your resolve to stay married gave me when I stumbled across this blog. I don't have any right to express my sadness because it can't possibly equal yours and your family's. But it still makes me want to cry and plead with you to reconsider.

May you and your family find peace at this difficult time.

Cicada said...

I really admire your willingness to share what you're going through on your blog. I am sorry for the hurt that you all must be experiencing right now, and I sincerely wish you all happier days ahead. You are in my thoughts.

Mike said...

Masterfob,
I used to read your blog and FoxyJ's quite a while back before I got a new computer and didn't really keep up with all my old blogs once I started using my macbook. So, when I stumbled across you blog today I was happy to find it- then shocked to see you mention divorce.

your post here almost made me cry- but I'm also really glad that you are doing what you feel is right and that both you and FoxyJ are working so hard to make this easier on your kids.

I'm know you don't know me- but I want you to know I feel for you- you're in my prayers.

mrsbarnes2601 said...

It sounds like things have been very hard for you and your family. My husband and I are going through exactly the same thing and frankly, I am a little worried. He too struggles with homosexualitya and though I never will truly understand, it is nice to read the view point of a guy on this issue. Right now he is still with us because it was guilt-induced. Thank you for sharing something so personal.