Archive for category relationships
Chances are, if you are married to your wife, you are having sex with her – whether it’s frequent or infrequent, that does not matter to my argument. And if you aren’t having frequent sex because she doesn’t want it, she probably hasn’t ever really orgasmed with you. If she is making a big production about orgasming, she is probably faking it. If she is shivering exactly at the moment you hope she’ll orgasm (right before you do), then she’s probably faking it.
To start, as a member of the Church I’ll assume anyone reading this who is having sex is doing so with a member of the opposite sex to whom they’re married. If you aren’t bound by the same principles, my words still apply of course.
If you read my blog entry on the three pillars of a successful relationship, you’ll know that intimacy is one of those pillars. That’s right, you’re supposed to have lots of sex with your eternal partner. If you don’t, then you aren’t binding yourselves together in a way that will help you withstand the assaults from a very difficult world. You need that binding, thus you need that sex.
I have a good friend, who we’ll call Jim. Jim’s wife was into all kinds of kinky stuff when they got married. That was good, because Jim was into it too. She “gave it up,” so to speak, to my friend Jim as often and as kinky as he wanted it. They had the first sex on a premarital basis, but he is also a member of the Church so he ended up marrying her. Then the sex started slowing down. She decided she didn’t want it so frequently. She openly wondered whether she really wanted any more sex at all – and if they did have sex, would she still have to in the Celestial Kingdom?
I slept in Jim’s spare room once. His wife made all kinds of caterwauling noises when they had sex that night. This woman would confide in me in the kitchen, how her husband doesn’t know anything about anything. How her husband can’t make any money. How his business is stupid. How frankly, he is stupid. She gave off the strongest “please help me cheat on my husband” vibe I think I’ve ever felt. I realize, she’s not a great example of a wife, but she’s also a member of the Church. Gentlemen, avoid this situation by talking with your wife about the sexual subjects up front at the beginning before you marry them! And if they have the same proclivities as Jim’s wife, keep control of the situation – lead through love and keep her in line (it’s her job to keep you in line, too).
Jim’s wife isn’t the only wife who is like this. What I do know is that men everywhere have similar experiences with their wives:
- Wives who don’t want sex more than once per week.
- Husbands who have elevated sex drives, but don’t ask their wives for sex for any number of reasons.
- Wives who make a big show of orgasming, but I promise you they’re faking.
- Wives who use sex as a weapon.
- Wives who don’t DO anything but sit there and let you do all the work.
#1. You cannot hide orgasm as a man – it is one of the blessings of being a guy. The only problem we have is how long we can hold out till the deed is done. And all women talk, so any woman who knows your woman will know exactly the details of your rigor (or lack thereof).
#2. If your wife does not want sex regularly, there is something going on.
- She may not be able to orgasm
- 1 in 10 women can’t orgasm at all.
- 8 of 10 women have varying degrees of being unable to orgasm.
- As few as 7% of women can reliably orgasm through penetration.
- TRANSLATION: 93% of women have some level of difficulty orgasming through sex, or they cannot orgasm PERIOD
- She may only be able to orgasm on her own, or perhaps only with certain sexual acts (like oral), or perhaps only with toys.
- These are three things you can work with her on, and broaden her horizons. Two partners in loving sexual acts can work wonders, and can break down barriers. It takes love and it takes patience.
- She may not be attracted to you any more. You have to face this possibility, and you have to ask her. It doesn’t matter if she has gained 200 pounds of fat and a pound of acne since marrying you – she still has the brain of the svelte 110-lb sex kitten you married. If you let yourself go through laziness, or through revenge for the weight she gained, she will have difficulty being attracted to you.
- She may be attracted to someone else. This is also a possibility. If she’s obsessing about another guy (or girl, this is the 21st century after all), she’s not going to be into it with you.
- If we were talking about a man, I’d suggest it were a porn problem. As I mentioned in a previous post, however, women get the same satisfaction from Twilight, or perhaps dirty romance books. The object of someone’s obsession doesn’t have to be a real person.
Again, if she’s not orgasming, she won’t want regular sex. If she can have a good, hard orgasm where her whole body reacts to the effects, she will want sex at least as much as you do. A healthy woman with a healthy sex drive will want sex at least as often as you do.
#3. The tell signs of faking orgasms.
- She doesn’t want sex
- At the same convenient moment during sex, she holds onto you really tightly and shakes her body, even fake little quivers
- Without the right corresponding reactions, you feel her clench her vaginal wall muscles at just the right time, each and every time.
- Men, you aren’t detecting her orgasm; you’re detecting her phony orgasm.
- She makes a ton of noise at exactly the moment you really get vigorous, like animal sounds that don’t sound natural
A woman orgasms differently from a man. She doesn’t have a blob of fluid to expel – her body reacts to the event, but doesn’t generally produce anything. You only have so many fluids, so you can only orgasm so many times. Women can potentially come dozens of times in a couple of hours – the worst fakers can be caught because they pretend to orgasm like men – once at the end.
#4. If you aren’t asking your wife for sex:
- Is she abhorrent to you because of her personality, or has she severely let herself go? I’m of the firm opinion that she needs to (as I heard Dr. Laura say one day) always treat you like she did when she was trying to convince you to love her. That means putting forth the effort to look young and act young.
- Are you thinking about other people? Are you thinking about your job? Are you tied up mentally with pornography? Are you distancing yourself from your wife for any reason?
- Are you avoiding sex with your wife for any reason at all?
#5. Wives who use sex as a weapon. Many people, men and women alike, believe the power is in the vagina. It’s not true, but the root of it is in the act – you are giving and she is receiving. A receiver can always reject the gift, but not the other way around. However: just like you need the participation of a vagina to have proper sex, she needs the participation of a penis to have proper sex. Don’t let a woman dangle sex in front of you to make you miserable – in the end you can both please yourselves, but nothing like you can please each other if you work at it.
#6. Wives who don’t do anything and let you do all the work. She’s not orgasming. If she were, she’d be working with you to make more of them happen. She is doing #5 above, and using sex as a weapon – you are sweating and getting nothing emotional in return. That’s empty sex and little better than pleasing yourself. Again, your wife holds onto the mistaken belief that all power lies in her vagina.
Things to avoid:
- Pornography. All you’ll be doing is expecting your wife to put on that fake show the porn girls do, to do things potentially harmful, and maybe to get plastic surgery. You also won’t be making love to your wife; you’ll be making love to the woman you saw getting hammered on the movie or in the photos. See #4 above. If she’s abhorrent to you, you have to fix it – not satisfy her sexual advances by thinking about a woman you have no right to screw while you’re inside the woman you’re obliged to make love to.
- Toys. I’m firmly against sex toys. They’re a crutch. I know a couple that cannot have sex any more because all they know is how to please each other with toys. The wife put her foot down as an evil excuse to start sleeping with other men, asking after 20 years of marriage for him to please her naturally or she’d find it elsewhere. That’s just one bad example, but let me tell you – toys fix nothing. I’d say they’re also potentially dangerous in that your wife is learning to love the feel of the object, and not your body. Anyone can use that object on her and she’ll be equally pleased.
- Swinging. As I had to tell my friend the other day, “There’s no such thing as a bisexual swinger.” There’s nothing good that can come from swinging. Your wife actually wants you – and just you. Any woman who tries to get your love by swinging is just waiting for the moment she can
- lock you down
- shut off the swinging, and
- hold it against you forever.
Don’t do it with anyone you care about – you will demolish what’s left of your relationship. The tortured logic I’ve been subjected to, justifying swinging – it’s just that, tortured logic, and not logic at all. Usually, this is how it goes:
- Husband says he wants to add partners to the bedroom, but really he wants a pornography-like multiple-woman scenario.
- Wife gives in and ends up watching her husband have sex with another woman.
- Wife thinks about it and gets increasingly upset as the days, weeks and months pass that one, or multiple, experiences.
- Wife demands to have a multiple guy experience. She doesn’t want it for the pleasure, she wants it to get back at her husband. She usually asks for the husband’s good friend to be the poor sap who joins them, so that her husband can have the pang of jealousy watching another man enter his woman.
- Relationship deteriorates with the parties one-upping and hating each other until they divorce.
I’ve seen this one play out several times. And yes, with members of the Church as often as anything else – I even know of one couple where the husband is elder’s quorum president. That’s his cross to bear, he has his own trials and we all have our own as well.
The moral of all this is: You are supposed to be having sex with your spouse. You are supposed to work with your spouse to overcome any walls she’s built up to fully enjoying the experience. Your sex should be making love – two people trying very hard for 5-50 months to please each other as much as possible. Sex should be the fulfillment of your love, not a weapon or opportunity to hurt anyone, and not defiled by you thinking about another person thanks to porn or an adulterous mind.
- Concentrate on your spouse
- Make it the most amazing sexual experience of her life
- …and it will come back to reward you.
Many people have assumed that since I suffered under bad discipline as a child, I must be totally against disciplining my own children. But the truth lies far from that assumption. I believe children should be managed in as tight of a virtual box as possible, so that when they rebel (because it will happen!), they don’t rebel that far. Set a high bar for your children, and they will rise to the challenge.
Where the children do not meet your bar, is quite likely where your fellow parent does not agree with the bar. If you want your children to get A’s in school and are willing to help them get there, you can make that happen – unless your fellow parent takes the approach that effort is what matters. Effort is not what matters. Effort is something easily faked and dodged. The proof is in results.
Another thing: We are teaching our children to survive a big, bad, ugly world where there are consequences for your actions. Now, we can’t dock their pay, we can’t fire them, we can’t demote them, etc. We can, however, devise a set of consequences for their actions that an employer can’t do: Place them on restriction/ground them, put tabasco on their tongues, put them in time out, flick them and smack their bottoms. They are learning to respect their elders, which (as Occupy Wall Street morons will never learn) translates to respect for your employer/manager/supervisor/boss/company owner. They aren’t learning a lesson to respect you as a marvelous human being, which is the warped definition of “respect” that the hands-off parents live by. We aren’t their best friends; we are their shepherds, trying to prepare them to forge out into the great, big, ugly world without us.
I believe most modern parents do not have the strength to discipline their children. And again, the point is not to hurt them, but to shepherd them into adulthood. That takes strength – the strength to deal with bad behavior even though they’re very, very cute. We are teaching them to think before they act.
I believe in time-outs, flicks, spankings, you name it. I think if your kid doesn’t respond positively to one or two smacks on the bottom, then you should try another method. I don’t think the answer is an increase in the number of times you smack that bottom. My schedule of punishment goes something like this:
First of all, and I’m surprised I have to say this – there’s no reason to ever close your hand and punch a child – anyone, for that matter, unless they’re a person of equal size/age who’s actually trying to hurt you (in that case, fight to win!). When I talk about smacking your child, it’s all about the open hand on their clothed bottom. I agree with threatening to do worse, but that’s a bluff and it’s totally allowed. Bluffing is one of our many parenting tools (example: a threat that you’ll “smack that look off their face” doesn’t actually mean you’ll smack their face, it means you’ve shown the strength to smack their bottom in the past and are convincingly threatening to smack their face instead).
Age 2-5: A child of this age doesn’t have a firm enough body to withstand the force of your hand. Keep your hands off of them. If they are being bad, however, they’re like dogs – they only remember what they’ve done wrong for a few seconds. You have to catch it and deal with it. You can flick their arm or leg with your finger. It shocks them like licking a 9-volt battery. But you should bifurcate your punishment between bad behavior and bad acts. If it’s bad behavior, then immediately send them to time out. If it’s a bad act – getting mad and biting someone, or purposely destroying something – flick them and then put them on time out. The pain is gone after a second, and the memory after their time-out minute is over. After all, with bad acts they can seriously hurt themselves or another person. And your damage to them is limited to the outward force of a single finger.
One tool, really only for public places, is pinching a part of your child’s arm that’s tender (like right behind the elbow). The nice part about this one (which yes, I learned from my mother), is that you don’t have to squeeze hard to get their attention – it’s very tender, and they respond without you having to leave a mark, which is what happens when you try to pinch a more calloused piece of skin, like their forearm or something. Then you just leave horrible marks that actually require healing, instead of getting their instant attention so you can correct bad behavior. Let me tell you: it is unacceptable that your child is lying on the ground throwing a 5-minute tantrum in the middle of the bank/grocery store/etc. That bad act of your child is the pinnacle of your refusal to act as their parent and deal with bad behavior (Translation: It’s your fault). I should add, if they’re spitting in your face, that’s your fault too. You can spit at an acquaintance; you’d never spit at someone you respect.
Another trick I learned is the impact of a very large movement that doesn’t actually hurt them. Somewhere in this age range, when my daughter was being bad, I would place her hand, palm down, on mine. Then I would reach way back with my other hand, and in a giant sweeping motion with the arm extended, I’d bring it up and over my head in an arc and meet my other hand – like a big clap. It makes a sound, it’s a big scary move, and it doesn’t actually hurt them. It snaps their attention at you and the lesson your’e teaching that moment.
Age 6-10. Your child is outgrowing the first phase. They realize at some point that the flick isn’t really anything but annoying and you can’t really scare them by clapping your hands around theirs. You have to safely utilize the smack. That means they must be clothed, because you’re not trying to denigrate them. That means you look very angry and make them stand up. You hold onto their arm so they stay upright and you don’t accidentally hurt them and you smack their bottom. I’m not against using a large spoon or a brush or something if your’e careful. Again: you’re the adult, you have self-control. They have not yet learned self-control, which is why you are exercising it and they are learning it.
What not to do: My parents decided they needed a terrifying implement for their spankings, and learned of the glue stick. If you know what a glue gun is, and how you can buy foot-long glue sticks for them, this tool was their whip of choice. And whip it is. You cannot break them on a bottom; they are indestructible except by heat. They are cheap and plentiful. If you’re ever in Wal-Mart, and happen to find an open bag of them in the crafts section, pull one out of the bag. Now hit your own palm with it. See how it whips back and feel the sting! My 45-minute spanking from the earlier post was with this. My parents would leave welts and it would sting to sit for days. It’s impossible to control this sort of thing – it really hurts, so you squirm, and you end up with welts on your back, bottom, sides and legs. Don’t do this.
Also between ages 6-10 you are learning to strip your children of the things they love. Even though you spent good money on their favorite things, you have to be willing to permanently rid your household of those things if they do not correct their behavior. I am all for doing these things in impactful ways – then they will remember the consequences for bad behavior. Some possible punishments:
– Taking a sledgehammer to their Playstation
– Making them carry their things to the Goodwill donation station
– Semi-permanently taking away the power cords to important toys/machines and not letting them have it back for a month.
– Letting a relative/family friend have the game machine (for example) with the understanding that you will ask for it back in a month/two months/etc.
My daughter doesn’t remember a single punishment I’ve ever meted out on her, except for some of these impactful ones, such as the time I cut the head off her stuffed animal with scissors as proof that it was never going to come out of the trash can. Again, if you make threats (such as throwing away stuffed animals) and then feel bad for them later, these sorts of punishments actually help ensure you will stick to your guns! After all, my daughter is precious; I am just as much a sucker as any other parent when she looks all cute and sweet.
Ages 11-17: It’s all about restriction, grounding and getting rid of their favorite things. There’s no law against making your child sleep in a bare room with a bed and clothes and THAT’S IT. They don’t have to have a door to their room. If they were living under these conditions, knowing that the key to their happiness will be turning around their bad behavior, then you will go far with your parenting.
Ages 18-30: Kick them out, please. There are plenty of cheap places to live, and it’s totally unacceptable to have 6-foot-tall children. They’ll respect themselves more if they’re out in the real world.
The important message here: Parenting is about exercising your strength which in turn builds their strength.
My first divorce was my parents’ divorce. My second divorce was breaking things off with my mother. My third divorce was the one I just wrapped up in 2010.
My parents divorced in 1992. I was 15. This was back when I was always the youngest person in the room (that was annoying, then fun, and now it’s gone!).
My parents were divorcing. Here’s how it went down.
My parents fought a lot. It usually ended with my dad driving away to sleep in his office. Once it ended with my Mom taking us kids to her friend’s house for Christmas. Sometimes it ended in laughing, which meant my mom was punching my dad in his gut and he was choosing to laugh about it.
My parents thought poorly of people who divorced. I still remember my father telling me about a lady in our ward (our church community) when I asked where her husband was. He wore a look as if he had tasted bad milk and said, “She’s divorced.” So even though the fighting had gotten bad, and I would tell my friends at school I expected my parents to divorce, it was hard to imagine it would ever happen.
I only once saw my mom run to the front door and kiss my dad when he got home. I remember being shocked — I practiced piano 4 hours a day, 10 feet from the front door, so if it had happened I would have seen it. I never saw any snuggling. I never heard any sounds from the bedroom. I knew they were married but never learned anything about what it meant to be married.
The most intimate thing I saw my parents do was actually a point of massive frustration for my father. It was right at the end of their marriage. They had been fighting in their room – I remember it was just before a holiday because she had been wrapping presents in her room. I think it was Easter, though, and not Christmas, but I could totally be wrong. I heard her make a different kind of frustrated noise than I had heard before, and I walked into their room. They were fully dressed, but dad had her sort of awkwardly pinned down. He had reached his last straw and had no idea how to handle her other than to hold her down to make her listen. He ended up taking his blanket and driving away that night, and I helped wrap presents, but my mother had to tell me to leave during that event, but not to worry and not to call the police. I remember thinking two things: “This is not good,” and “This is really more intimate than anything I’ve ever seen them do.”
The Snowball Starts
The year is 1989. I got my first computer. My dad gave me a computer he was done with from his office – an IBM AT with a 10MB hard drive, DOS, WordStar, and a 600 baud modem. Soon he upgraded me to a 40MB hard drive and I thought, “How will I ever use this?!”
The year is 1991. My parents have been much more on the rocks lately than ever before. When my dad upgraded my computer, once again giving me a hand-me-down, within a week I typed “delete *.*” (a command my dad had just taught me) from the C:\ directory. For you geeks out there, stop groaning. For you non-geeks, that means I accidentally deleted everything on the computer. Dad gave me a copy of Norton Utilities which helped me be able to see everything that had been deleted off of the computer. In my spare time, I started tooling around with it.
I soon found a document that outlined how my father would want to divide the estate if he divorced my mother. I printed it out and gave it to my mom. I knew this was a seminal moment.
The year is 1992. My parents go through the divorce process after a lengthy separation. My mom enlisted my help, which meant slowly turning me away from the father I loved very much. She had a multi-level marketing business called Sunrider. While she was out of the country seeing her married Australian boyfriend, I would run her business for her. In her defense, there was no boyfriend until she became separated from my father – that meant she saw separation like I do: You’re never going back. Her error was making my father believe otherwise. Also in her defense: She got the Australian to divorce his wife, and she’s been married to him now for 15 years.
While my mother was seeing the Australian, she would have me type her love letters to him (she was embarrassed of her handwriting, which was quite good). This was the first exposure I ever had to romance. I found other letters she didn’t want me typing for her, which she faxed to him. They were dirty! Also a first. Later, when I was mad at her, I opened up the suitcase where she stored those letters and showed my dad.
My brothers were born in 1980, 1984 and 1987. My mother started off the divorce process saying she wanted to give up my three brothers to my dad, that she never wanted to be a mother and he forced her to have them, but that she’d keep me because I was such a big help. She then said, “I’m getting $3200/month from your father anyway, and they cost a lot.” I told her that I had read through her divorce agreement, and I was fairly certain it was child support, not alimony – meaning the money goes away if she doesn’t have the kids. She made me show her the spot in the document – I was right (see the name of my blog). From that point on, she full-on manipulated my brothers every time they even hinted of wanting to see more of our father. She would even produce tears – she’s a wonderful actress.
I was born in the LDS faith – “Born in the Covenant” as we call it. My parents had both been complete zealots when I grew up. I couldn’t date till I was 16, and that meant missing out one every important high school function because there would be girls there. No dances, no formals, nothing until Senior Prom (when I was actually 16). My mother would scream at me how evil I was when I was 8. She was a Mormon’s Mormon, good and bad. The only thing she hated about the Church was Utah – probably why I still have never been. I still remember her holding the hymnal during songs at Sacrament, and teaching me the melodies as we sang, including how to sing the other parts (Tenor, etc.) instead of just the melody.
A few things we didn’t have: We didn’t do family home evening often. I didn’t see the temple more than once before one was built in San Diego, and by then my parents were almost through with their divorce. I didn’t go to Church dances and generally we didn’t go to a lot of Church events (the reason would usually be that Dad was out of town and Mom didn’t want to do it alone, or that they had “bad food” there and my Mom didn’t want to cook something just for us kids to eat).
When my parents’ marriage began to disintegrate, my mother stopped going to Church. Her only appearances were the meetings with our Bishop, and she got really involved in trying to block my father from remarrying in the Temple. I am personally bracing for a similar fight when I go to the Temple again. My mother never went back. When missionaries went to her door, she and her husband screamed profanities at them until they left.
Note: She never withdrew her records from the Church, and won’t ask my brothers to do it either. I think that means that deep-down she knows the Church is true, but has too much pride to humble herself and submit herself to God. When I left the Church when I was 19, I tried to rekindle a relationship with her. She asked me to convince my brothers to withdraw their records – I told her that was a really big decision for me, and not one I’m going to influence for them.
My Mother’s Great Error
I mentioned it above – not letting Dad know it was over. I know how she thinks – I’m half hers, remember? The moment she was into getting a divorce, she was never going to be comfortable in that marriage again. She was emotionally out. However, the initial divorce agreement wasn’t favorable enough to her desires. I still remember being quite frustrated that even though she was signed off emotionally from the marriage, she would go out on dates with Dad and string him along some more. She explained why: if she could convince Dad he had a chance at reigniting the marriage (And again, she’s a great actress), he would give in on divorce terms. She always had in her arsenal the threat to divide the entire estate, including his business, but felt that you can attract more flies with honey. So she laid the honey on thick, got everything she wanted (including the entire equity in our home, instead of partial; Dad assumed all of the debt; and she got child support till we turned 19 instead of 18). Probably the most worthwhile nonprofessional acting in history.
My Father’s Error
He gave in. He loved my mother and wanted the marriage to be repaired. At every turn, he chose to run instead of fight. He may have done it for love, but the wrong things happened – my mother got her way. That means she got all of the financial gains, and she got my brothers and I “on her side.” I don’t think he realized, though, that he would lose so many of his sons in the process. I think just a little foresight, however, a good lawyer and the right counseling (perhaps from his lawyer) could have told him to put up his dukes where it counted.
This divorce left plenty of dead bodies, so to speak.
My mother continued to reach into my father’s life and screw with him for another decade after their divorce. She tormented him with hateful faxes, and my dad’s failure to fight back properly had his second wife convinced that he was still in love with my mom. Dad’s current wife put a stop to that by standing up for him. But even recently, at my brother’s wedding of all places, my father sacrificed a lot to get to China to be there. At the wedding, my mother used every last ounce of knowledge about how my father ticks, and ticked him off enough to leave right after the wedding. She has a tremendous sense of timing. I am firmly convinced that if his wife had been there, or I had been there, things would have turned out differently at that wedding.
I think my father believes he could have saved his sons’ souls by sacrificing his own soul and staying with my mother. He fails to understand a few things, though. The way some people think (including my mother and I), once you sign off of a marriage you never go back. Why make such a monumental decision if you aren’t going to stick with it to the end? What kind of spine would you have, or moral confidence? His real responsibility, the main effort, needed to be from the day she asked for divorce. Instead, he concentrated on making her happy. All that did was sink him into her smokescreen while she had her way with us.
I too bore many of the influences from my mother before I could properly sort out who I was and what was important for me in the long-run. By the time I graduated high school in 1993, I was firmly disgusted with my father (partly by him giving up, and heavily because she had convinced me of all the usual suspicions an ex casts on her hated ex-spouse – manipulation, being a control freak,etc.). On the night of my graduation, outside City Hall (where graduation happens) I told him he was no longer my father. I remember shaking while I was doing it, thinking I was making him pay for his errors and making my mother proud. He didn’t take it well, and I didn’t get to repair things fully until 1998.
My parents taught me nothing about marriage. They taught me some good lessons about divorce, however. My brothers are still reeling from the after-effects and it’s now been a long, long time. Years after the marriage, my third brother asked my dad when he was getting back together with Mom. It embarrassed Dad, but he failed to recognize even at that point how much he needed to be shepherding us through the process. That brother doesn’t even speak to him (or me) any more.
You can avoid many of the long-term damages that can stem from divorce if you take a strong hand with your life and the lives of your children from the moment a divorce seems inevitable. Your children need your strength. Your soon-to-be ex (or now your ex) needs to be dealt with in the legal process, and you need to treat them with respect, but you are no longer responsible for their salvation. They made their choice by asking for a divorce, or for their contribution in destroying the marriage to the point that you had to “man up” and make the divorce happen. Your children need you. Your own soul needs you. Shepherd them.
What’s the trendiest way to obscure your quickly dissolving faith? Allying yourself with:
It’s so very powerful. You claim you used to love the Church (or any other Christian sect that hasn’t diluted itself with abandon) but you no longer can stand by a faith that hates homosexuals.
Defending the Church
Let’s step back a moment. First, in defense of the Church.
We don’t stand against homosexuality out of hate. When we have rules in the Church, they’re steadfast. The rules say things like “Never give up on a loved one,” and “Moderate your response to the news of your loved one’s homosexual struggles,” and “Do not encourage him or her to marry as a “cure” for homosexuality.” These aren’t the words of a community mobilizing with militaristic hatred.
An easy fact: you can’t hate people into changing. So if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, then you won’t make any headway by ostracizing and/or mocking them. We are to embrace the homosexuals we know, and encourage them to strengthen their relationship with God and their faith in the Gospel. We happen to believe something like this: if they strengthen their faith, if they submit themselves to Christ, they probably won’t continue living an active homosexual life.
We stand against gay marriage because marriage is reserved for a man and a woman, with the ideal that the union produce children. Among other reasons, there are wonderfully utilitarian uses for encouraging procreation:
- The major cultures who hate us around the world are very happy to breed themselves into little population explosions, and don’t think they’ll refrain from using the excess people to kill us one day.
- Our quickly bloating welfare state (and the already bloated welfare states elsewhere in the West) needs a new generation to work for 40 years to pay for 30+ years of free money to all the old folks.
- It’s a lot easier to manufacture new Mormons (or other religion) than to convert some (and some religions you can’t convert to, like Orthodox Judaism)
I will give a concrete example from someone I have known – a woman I’m vaguely related to. The first time I met her and her husband, they were leaders in their Ward (their Church community); in fact, he was the 1st Counselor in his Ward’s bishopric. They had everything Church-wise going for them, and they were graduating from college. They have 3 kids. They have owned a home or two. The world should be their oyster.
Then he had trouble finding the right job. Then he decided maybe he wanted to go to grad school. She supported them financially. Then she got a new job, surrounded by successful homosexuals. She hung out with them a lot.
At this point, the husband started to drink (a big no-no for us) heavy liquor to diffuse the stress from his grad school. The woman was shocked and appalled. Soon, this woman and her husband started to one-up each other in destroying their relationship.
She went drinking with her homosexual coworkers frequently. She would pass out at their homes and sleep in their beds.
Quick aside: The dirty stories in dirty magazines are full of men who are otherwise straight who stray gay for a night. Can’t a gay man stray straight? Should a lonely housewife really be sleeping in a gay man’s bed?
Back to my story. The husband “fell in love” with a girl at school and told his wife, plus an aside that he didn’t plan to do anything about it. She wondered whether she should get into swinging to make him happy. Yes, that’s the order of it.
She then reconnected with a high school boyfriend and would leave the State to watch his sporting events. Then this woman, the high school boyfriend and his own wife, and this woman’s husband started going to strip clubs in Vegas. (This woman AND her husband each had to drink themselves into oblivion the first time they went to the strip club in order to feel comfortable being there/drown out the Holy Ghost.)
Lesson: If you have to take any drastic measures to drown out the Holy Ghost, just stop.
The woman soon announced she wanted no more children, but if her husband wanted one, then he could feel free to sleep with the high school boyfriend’s wife and make one. In my mind, she was trying to find justification to sleep with that old boyfriend.
So after all this spiritual and mental deterioration, this woman’s only regular friendships were the old high school boyfriend and the circle of homosexuals from work. And after all this deterioration, she decided she cannot support a Church that hates people who are so nice as homosexuals are.
First of all, some of her own gay friends say they don’t want gay marriage. So are these gays discriminating against their own kind?
Second of all, she leaves this whole story of her deterioration out of her reasoning for falling away from the Church.
I met another woman who has fallen away from the Church based on our stance on homosexual marriage as well. She hadn’t attended church regularly in years.
There are a couple levels to these people’s apostasy
- The hypocrite within: They know they’re not living their lives in accordance with our standards/rules. They don’t want to get punished and go through the repentance process. Look how easy it is to support the wrong side in this social controversy.
- The WASP Ridiculousness/Stuff White People Like: It’s so cool to have gay friends. You’re in that circle, and the best way to keep ahead of the curve is to be a zealot for their societal issues.
- The Morally Obtuse: You’ve depleted your “spiritual bank account” and now you need a way to obfuscate the call of the Holy Spirit to come back. Best to drown it out with a contrived emotion like zealotry. In a way, the social issue fills the void that your religion once did. Something has to fill that bank account, so why not counterfeit spiritual dollars?
I’d say that people who sacrifice the religion they once loved for a social issue like homosexual marriage have all three of these levels somewhat equally.
Whenever anything in the media, whether it’s a news channel or something in pop culture, talks about a woman’s mind, it lovingly describes the multitasking going on in a woman’s mind. She has to think about her job, her home, her children (if she has any), her significant other, her appearance, etc. These same channels portray the man’s mind as being simpler. It is and it isn’t.
What consumes a man’s mind? 100 levels of:
Let me start off by saying I’m a reasonable guy, reasonably intelligent, and rather well put-together; that is to say, I have no psychosis. I know enough, asking my friends and sometimes (when the circumstances are right) simple acquaintances, to know I’m not wrong when it comes to these topics.
We never fully quash a worry, sometimes not even silly worries from our childhood. We keep little worries tucked away in hidden crevices within our minds, and they stack up on each other. Have you heard the one about women needing financial security to feel comfortable, and men needing security at home/emotional security? That’s because it helps the worries drop down to a din from a roar.
Here are some worries I know about, or I experience. If I know about them, my acquaintances hold onto them at all times. If I experience them, I’ve had them for some time and I feel them at some level right now:
Deaths in our family
Having our credit card get declined at the grocery store
Our business might not make enough money to feed the family
We might lose our job
Might have to fire someone
Spouse might leave us
Spouse might stop loving us
Children might not do well in school…college…life…marriage
Someone might break into our home
Might get sick
Might get really sick
Might die and not leave enough to support our families
Might not get enough sex
Might be seen as a bad lover
Might get caught doing ______ (fill in the blank)
Might be seen as ugly
Might get fat
_____ might break down (car? computer? Dishwasher?)
I have a recurring dream that I haven’t finished high school. Sometimes it’s college. Sometimes it’s grad school. Sometimes it’s my military stint. Really believable dreams. The military ones now, I go to the right office and complain that why did I get pulled back into the military as an enlisted person when I have all these degrees?
These are worries that sit in every man’s soul. We may not think shallowly about 100 topics during the day, but we have 100 levels of one big topic. Absorb that before you judge a man so poorly against the equivalent woman.
Faith – Communication – Intimacy
Let’s take these one at a time.
Faith takes many forms.
It can be a home-grown faith, it can be Judaism or Mormonism or Catholicism.
It can be smoking – if you’ve never seen a zealot, try talking a smoker out of the cigarette they’re halfway through, using logic and reason.
It can be Veganism – that is an act of faith unsupported by science (as atheists accuse us religious types).
It can be atheism (it IS a faith) – you believe without any actual evidence that there is no God.
If you are of one faith, however defined, and your spouse is of another, it will chafe inwardly no matter what you say vocally. The first rule of relationships is:
You cannot change anyone. They are who they are.
You have to bridge the gap between your faith and the other person’s. Now don’t get me wrong – two Mormons or two Lutherans will have the same faith but will have vastly different intensities of that faith.
Here’s your warning sign:
Feelings of betrayal
The biggest disappointments come when one spouse tries to fake it. This betrayal starts off as them trying to shut you up – “Ok, I’ll join your religion/give up mine,” or “I would love to live as a vegan.” You are expecting them to change who they are – quite unrealistically, I might add. Ultimately you are who you are.
My former mother-in-law once said that the face resists plastic surgery, because you have an overall pattern of who you are – this is why pieces of Michael Jackson’s face would fall off periodically. It’s the same with your psyche. If you try to force your spouse to be someone who they are not, they may fake it awhile but will ultimately revert to who they are.
They will feel betrayed that you don’t love them for who they are, and you will feel betrayed that they lied to you.
You simply cannot have a successful relationship without communication. You have to understand the minutiae of who they are, and accept it. Then you have to be conversant in the subjects that matter most to them. You can’t sit on opposite edges of the couch watching the boob tube (yes it’s a dated term but I love it) until you get to escape to bed to sleep so you can face yet another day desperately trying to avoid speaking with the person you’re supposed to cherish for eternity. And don’t think you can just avoid certain subjects and get along fine! In all likelihood the things you want to avoid are subjects that matter a great deal to your spouse, whether it’s cooking or movies or sports or reading or fishing or beer.
Here’s your warning sign:
Every conversation that happens, results in an argument/misunderstanding.
Now of course you want to be able to talk to the person you wake up to every day. You want to be able to relate to them, to lean on them, to have an eternal companion. You married them (and are highly encouraged to do so, if you haven’t yet), after all! In order to do so, you smooth the skids by starting to sacrifice you you are. The next rule of relationships is:
Each spouse sinks to their lowest common denominator.
If you don’t like facets of your partner/spouse, you will absorb some of those facets just to survive in the relationship. This is because marriages and other relationships are built on the common experience, and you have to bridge the gap between two people or else you can’t have that commonality. You need to survive the relationship! And so you give.
You may give up meat.
You may give up smoking.
You may give up your religion.
You may start eating meat.
You may start smoking.
You may join their religion.
But if this change doesn’t sink into your bones, the nagging feeling at the back of your mind will ultimately take over and consume you. You’ll cast off the poseur mantle and return to who you are fundamentally! Are you a smoker? Are you a vegan? Are you a Wiccan? If not, and you’re posing as one to please your spouse, your days are numbered.
Now for the fun part:
First of all, my disclaimer. If you’re born without boy or girl parts, or your boy/girl parts are gone or useless thanks to disease/surgery/accident, of course you can have a healthy relationship. You make accommodations for actual barriers, but you don’t make them for virtual ones.
Once upon a time I was a middle schooler where we had to poll people we knew on the subject of your choice. I called divorced people I knew and asked them what makes a successful relationship. Nine respondents said “Communication,” (and some of them divorced again) and my grandmother said, “Lots of sex,” (and she never divorced again). See above for my thoughts on communication.
If you can’t hold onto your spouse for dear life at every opportunity, if you buy the world’s largest bed so you can be safely far away from your spouse’s drooling/kicking/snoring/fighting, then you are avoiding the intimacy that will bind you together with your spouse. They need you, and you need them. If that need isn’t there, then you have bigger problems to worry about.
Here is your warning sign:
Opposite ends of the couch, and opposite ends of a very large bed.
We are human beings with tactile needs. We need touching, affection and love. We expect that marrying someone means that we will get these needs fulfilled. We invariably use it as a weapon, denying our spouses what they need as payback for whatever injurious betrayal (see above) we feel they inflicted upon us. But take this food for thought in the third rule of relationships:
If your spouse isn’t getting it from you, they will get it elsewhere
Men sink into porn (and some women do too), women sink into Twilight (only slightly tongue-in-cheek here), and at the extremes one spouse sinks into the arms of another person. We are desperate for the person we married to treat us like they did when they were trying to convince us to love them. But feelings get in the way of touching. Do not let this happen!
Back in the 1950s, wives were taught to submit to their husbands. That has now become perverted so that the very thought is an affront to feminist women everywhere. But the fundamental idea is sound: husband and wife submit to each other to retreat from the stresses of the day. You should forgive each other their offenses (see the Catholics’ Our Father prayer) and harbor no ill will for the person you’re bound to for Eternity.
I firmly believe (Mormon talk time) that a person who denies their otherwise well-behaving spouse the intimacy they need, they are breaking their Temple covenants. There are many ways to do this of course, without just saying “No.” And I’m not talking about a one-off night with a headache. I’m talking about a systematic denial of what your spouse needs through action or inaction. So what if he didn’t initiate the intimacy enough times in a row? Do it yourself! There are so many “So what’s” I can’t cover them all. But do not destroy your bedroom (virtually) to satisfy your pride. Remember, the other columns will fall if you tear this one down with that pride.
When first I decided I needed to divorce my ex-wife, I looked at the relationship and realized all three columns had been ground to dust. When I talked with my ex-wife, she said I had overblown everything, that it wasn’t that bad. She definitely didn’t think we should divorce.
The first thing she did was start scrutinizing my every activity and proceeded to browbeat me into regretting my request for divorce. But you can’t bully someone into staying with you. She failed to internalize that she had any part in the sickness of our relationship. I put my divorce plans on hold and took all of her complaints about how terrible of a husband I was and conquered them to the level of my personal satisfaction. We even had twin sons.
When I had squashed every one of her complaints, I assessed the situation again and realized nothing had improved. I felt dirty from my personal sins in the relationship and there was nothing clean about our marriage (other than the children) to help me feel better. I also felt like I was not where God intended me to be – the only thing I can liken it to, is feeling like you’re in the wrong place, or on the wrong track. I would be alone in my car, crying in prayer to God to show me where I had gone wrong.
When I approached my ex-wife and told her that nothing had improved, that everything was still broken and that I would be divorcing her, I walked through all of my complaints – no communication, no agreement on our faith, and no intimacy, she said that all my complaints were “Stupid and fixable.” But do you know what? They weren’t stupid and 4 years of fixing had shown nothing was fixable. I’m in the relationship too, and I should be satisfied. Satisfaction was the furthest thing from how I felt.
I am now married to a wonderful woman who found me as I was begging God to show me the way. After I initiated my divorce proceedings, I discovered she was the love of my life. She moved 1,500 miles to be with me and has spent every day building these columns with me.