Thursday, July 12, 2007

Note to self--remember this

Don't you hate it when you come up on the tail end of an interesting discussion, and everyone else is wrapping up and excusing themselves? Well, this probably happens a lot in the blogging world because we're not all in the same room at the same time, and we have to catch up on each other's conversations. So anyway, today I went over to Beck's blog and saw I'd missed his post-before-last entitled "Feeling very envious II". It is one of the most poignant soul-searching examinations I have read to date on the inner turmoil of what it means to be LDS, gay and married. And then I was equally touched by the JGW's comments as one speaking from the "green grass" on the other side of the partner commitment fence.

Alas, with 14 comments already posted it seemed to me that the party was over, but I still felt the urge to contribute something. So I'm copying my remarks here, because as I thought about it on the drive home from work, I want to be able to remind myself occasionally of the immediacy of my message. Here's a practical answer that may be so close to home that we don't give it enough consideration in our search for philosophical solutions.

Beck, my compliments to you--I don't think I've ever seen the Moho angst more articulately or honestly described than by you and your questions. I'm going to share this with my wife, if you don't mind, because it verbalizes so many of the raw doubts and feelings we share. It will be a good place for us to begin conversation. Have you shared this and the comments with your wife?

This leads me to the main point I want to make: Spend as much of your emotional and spiritual dollars as you possibly can on your wife. Replace the soul-searching, doubting, rehashing, guilty, self-condemning expenditures of energy with investments of love, openness, gratitude and time with your chosen companion.

I say this at the risk of being mis-interpreted as a trite Mormon fix-all to a very complex reality. But I've struggled with your same list of questions. And I'll tell you, the doubt can go even further--now add on top of that angst, later on via life's disappointments, a generous dose of frustration with, and lack of respect for that chosen "eternal" companion. That's where I was, in an even worse place to be stuck, because it sounds to me like you still admire and appreciate your wife.

So how have I gotten past all this angst and downward negativity? I went back to the base of all human need, the wellspring of love and gratitude. Despite her faults, my wife has been my loyal companion, my standard bearer, my friend, the devoted mother of my children, the unintentional victim of my never being quite satisfied with her. I've decided it's pay-back time, and I'm investing again in her. After 26 years of marriage, our needs remain fairly simple: she wants to be spoken to more often, played with, cherished, acknowledged, affirmed. . . and so do I.

I still have my issues, but I can remember her more often. Once I started this pattern of giving back, I find the SSA is getting easier to manage, I feel more secure, and I have on less critical filters of my own making, the design of my own self-centeredness.

Note to self: in your never-ending SSA saga of self-discovery and analysis, remember the one who remembers you daily in her prayers. I love you, Sweetie.


-L- said...

I really appreciate your thoughts here. And I find it really interesting that there are several bloggers still in their marriage who have been married for about 25 years. It's a magic number, I guess!

Beck said...

Thanks for your comments on my blog. I know we need to remember why we are where we are and the love that got us there in the first place. Focusing on her works when I am whole and at peace with myself. When I spike in ways that begin to doubt my resolve, I pull away from my wife and things start going downhill from there. So I need to remember this as well.

Thanks for sharing and for joining the community, and for being another MOM MOHO - 25 years and still going...

J G-W said...

I'm glad you posted this on your own blog... It is beautiful. I love the picture of you with your wife. It's a nice visual reminder of what true love is all about. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Geck, there is nothing "trite" about your insight here. Seems to me this is excellent advice for any marriage, regardless of sexual orientation (we in the ssa world tend to forget that a significant number of marriages out there, with two heterosexual partners, are facing serious challenges. Thanks for taking the time to write this.