It doesn’t always work

from http://cliparts.co/cliparts/6iy/o8a/6iyo8aK5T.jpg

It’s been a rough few days over here.

When we stop respecting each other and in turn start ignoring the express wishes of our partners…it makes for some rocky roads. Proclamations of love are categorically unbelievable; all readily available evidence would support the opposite being truth.

Lots of tears. Lots of heartache. Misunderstandings and  sometimes deliberate ignorance.

Placing blame does nothing. We can play he said/she said for days and no one will ever win. Pride will ensure that in all participating parties.

But I believe we will get through it. We haven’t been irreparably vexed yet, and we’re more mature and level-headed than we have been in the past.  Refraining from emotional (over)reactions is a practiced skill, one you KNOW i can’t long say I’ve mastered, but it’s definitely one I know I am personally working on.

One of our blog “tags” is “how it works,” but this week, it doesn’t.

It will again, though.

A Couple of Loners


Legit have had this convo with my momma! hahaha I feel you, Lisa! from: http://imgfave-chat-herokuapp-com.global.ssl.fastly.net/image_cache/1344738261495361.jpg

You know that 2 years ago we packed everything up, our house, our kids, our lives, and literally moved home, to my parents’ house.

There were a few reasons for doing so, and, frankly, we at the time thought that we were going to end up staying back in the area we had both grown up in (we grew up about 10-15 mins from each other).

I have to admit that 2 years ago, I was SO not handling the Mister’s exit from the Church well.  I mean, really.  I wasn’t ready to face it. And I DEFINITELY couldn’t accept it. I insisted he came to Church with us every week because it’s what we do as a family and how this family started in the first place. PRETTY sure I even told him that if he stopped coming we’d have to talk about separating because we obviously wanted such different things.

Eye roll. Oy vey.

(Sorry, babe).

And, 2 years ago, after being in the same ward for 10 years, I felt I had no one. Not a soul I could go to for help, for support. I had no friendly shoulder to cry on or listening ear.

My two best friends were completely not even a member and an ex-Mormon going through the ANGRY stage of her leaving the Church.

I needed a Mormon. Desperately.

So, we moved home. (Again, for lots of other, REAL reasons, too. I’m not that vapid that I’d force my family to pick up and move because I felt lonely. Give me SOME credit.)

I was excited to go home. My parents are members. His family are members. And we were returning to the area where so many of our friends and memories are from, and some remain. We were sure it’d be just like old times with people.

But, of course, as busy as we are in our careers and raising kids and juggling living with parents/grandparents/inlaws, so are all of our old friends.

So, we moved. And we still had no one.

And I had no one.

I even begged, like, LITERALLY begged, an old friend who occasionally gets together with some other old friends for girls’ night to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE invite me! PLEASE! I’m so desperate, please don’t post pictures of you guys without me, let me come! I need to come!!

But I wasn’t in the next round of pictures. I guess desperation really is that off-putting! hahaha (I’m totally picturing Kate Hudson’s BFF in “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days” one of the best Rom-Coms EVAH).

We tried a couple of times to host parties and get out to events, but people are just too busy. We’re too busy. Work and kids makes us all busy.

So we had each other. And my parents. hahaha my poor parents! (Love you guys!!)

I learned a lot feeling lonely at home.  I learned how to listen a bit better. So when I got the promoting that maybe I needed to lighten up and give my man a break so he doesn’t grow to hate and resent me, and my religion, I was able to hear it. It was MY idea he stop coming to church with us, a far cry from the initial this-marriage-is-over-when-you-stop. And it was so good for us. I think it was the first time I was actually able to say, okay, I’m okay. I can do this. We can do this. You are a good person no matter what our dogmatic differences are.

I realized what I was doing to him by forcing him to come. I recognized that I was hearing what he was saying to me but refusing to accept it, to accept him. How can it be okay for my friends and other family to not be in or to leave the Church, and I’m loving and accepting of THEM, but I can’t be the same for my own husband? Who I love MORE than the rest of them? (No offence, folks, but he’s still my fave!)

So he stopped coming. And I started the Sunday Single Parent gig. Which is HARD! But when I do it I look around and see the every-day single parents – every single freaking DAY you rockstars do that!! You amaze me – and the other Sunday Singles who I’d never batted an eyelash at before because their spouses are off serving in various stake callings or wherever else. So I joke about it, but I’m good. (And sometimes we even come home to lunch ready-made for us! What a treat!)

And now, we’ve moved. And we’re back where we started our time together. In the ward we started in when we got married. In a different area, in a nicer house, but the same ward. And it feels like it used to.

Absolutely, completely like it used to.

Except now, maybe it hurts a little more? Maybe just today, though. Today has been a funk-day.

We were here for 10 years, and for 10 years I tried to fit in. To feel accepted. To be part of the group. But I just, I couldn’t do it. I’m not one of them. I’m too different. I don’t have anything in common with any of them. Everyone likes me, at least, to my face, but no one CARES about me, you know? Not that they don’t care, but like, hahahaha they don’t care! I can’t even come up with a better way to describe it.

But we knew that’s what we were coming back to. We knew I felt this way before we left, it would be the same when we got back.

I just hadn’t expected in the short time we were gone for there to be so many new people, so many new people who have done what I couldn’t do. In 10 years I couldn’t infiltrate and in under 2 they have.  The bonds these people have…I just have no words. I want that. I don’t mean to be so envious, but it makes me ache watching, and knowing I’ll never have it.

I’m just not made that way. I’m not made to get along with other Mormons.

Mormons are hard.

Good thing my hubs isn’t Mormon 😉

Home

So one day I was sitting in class in college, bored out of my skull (it was pathophysiology. Come on. Give me some slack) and surfing the internet landed me at the highly addicting site, Pinterest.

Sigh.

I LOVE Pinterest.

Anyway. Typically annoying Mormon female, here, I have a Pinterest problem.

Though my boards aren’t full of Releif-Society-crafts and varied-holiday-themed home decor (my Batman board is pretty epic, not going to lie!) they are pretty full.

Not too long ago I was surfing through and I found this. And it was just PERFECT. And I LOVE it.

Maybe even more now, because we’ve just spent the past three days this weekend moving to a new (old 🙂 ) place, after being in one city for our whole 10 years of marriage, the last 7 of which were in one house. But anyway.

I shared it with my hubs. It’s how he makes me feel.

We went to a friend’s wedding a few years ago and during part of the ceremony she said to her groom, through tears of emotion, something along these lines, that he made her feel like she was home. I’ve just always thought it such a beautiful sentiment.

And it’s EXACTLY how I feel about MY mister.

I didn’t date around a whole bunch when I was younger, but I’ve never with anyone else ever been just so…COMFORTABLE.  Another Pinterest gem I found one days says “home is where the pants aren’t” which makes me giggle, but the suggestion of emotional/psychological & physical contentedness is bang on.

With him I can be me. Unashamedly, one hundred percent, just me. Me on my good days, and bad days. My fat days, and my hot-mama days. My nagging, lazy, pyjama-pants and B.O. days, and my fancy-schmancy, productive, fashionista days.

With him I am home. No matter which me wakes up in the morning I am always free to be just that me.  I have it made in the shade. He makes me love being me, because he loves me so.

Love you, babe. Thanks for giving me a home, no matter where we are, who we’re with, or what we believe. Here’s to us, our girls, and our new home.

“Battle of the Fittest”

While packing up our stuff this summer to go into boxes to go into storage in preparation to finally move we found a LOT of paper.  Like, a LOT.

And, totally randomly, I cam across some old writing assignments from one of my English classes at BYU. Weird, right? Sheesh.

But I kind of liked this one. As did my instructor; I got a perfect score.  And thought I’d share it. Because…that’s what I do. (Ironic, really, when you read it…)

Totally autobiographical, by the way. This is me more than a decade ago… sigh.  A small insight into the inner workings of a crazy person’s depressed brain function!

Battle of the Fittest

I wish I could say that I’d handled things better, but I didn’t.  I wish I could tell you that I’ve always been sure of everything, but I haven’t. I wish I could remember how strong I was, but I wasn’t.  I had everyone fooled, though. No one knew.  I don’t eve know if I did. 

I think, though, that if I had known, I would have made it worse.  I would have spent my time beating myself up, wondering what was wrong with me, why I wasn’t able to cope on my own.  Actually, I know this is true.  I know that I’d have pushed it aside.  I am Stone: I don’t have feelings. 

When the Missionaries in my ward became aware of my membership on the varsity wrestling team they were shocked.  They called me after a pro-wrestler, as a joke. But I let it stick.  I became Stone Cold. 

Before this I’ve never been one to open up to people, never willing to tell what’s on my insides.  I think I’m loud and boisterous sometimes just to avoid admitting what to me has become failure, admitting that I am hurt, that I am upset, that I need help.  But my name “Stone” took on a whole new meaning.  It wasn’t a name, it was me.  I was Stone. I was strong, immovable, cold as rock and rough as sandpaper. 

About a year earlier one of my school friends had dropped dead at lunchtime in the Taco Bell parking lot. He wasn’t healthy to being with, but it was shocking nonetheless.

A bit later on a childhood playmate of mine passed away inexplicably. My mother shared the news with me over fish and chips one evening, claiming the first of my peers to go.  “Second,” was my reply, my head bent down, intent on studying my coleslaw. 

It’s okay. It’s not a big deal.  They’ve got to start dying off at some point in time, right? Everyone dies? 

So when I didn’t cry after Annie’s mom had been diagnosed with liver cancer and died within the same month it was normal. 

And when I found out that Grandpa died a day after we heard about Candace’s dad, I was fine.  Louise called me right after I’d found out about Brother Potter, but I couldn’t tell her.  Louise’s mom was killed in a car accident two years earlier, who was I to care? 

My teachers at school were sympathetic the first time in that month when I told them I had to miss class for a funeral.  They cautiously pried to see how serious it was to me, and I told them it was okay, just a girl at church’s mom; I had to play music.  But when I came up to them two weeks later and told them I’d miss most of the week – two more funerals – they were in shock. “You know a lot of people!”

Well, not anymore. 

The question would finally come, and I’d answer. “Oh, no biggie.  Just one of my best friend’s dad’s funeral on Wednesday, and my grandpa’s viewing the same day, and then his funeral on Thursday.” My writing teacher recoiled in horror, and another student came up to us to explain, through her sobs, hat she would have to miss a couple days for her grandfather’s funeral and recuperation, if that was okay.  Both looked at me standing there, my face betraying nothing, my features unchanged.  The Stone would not give way. I wasn’t about to embarrass myself in front of the classroom like her.  I was too strong. I didn’t need the tears. 

At the first funeral I held it together. Candace and her siblings didn’t need me to add to their grief.  The Bishop had asked me to lead the music, and I did as if it were a regular Sacrament meeting, ignoring the words “God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again.”

At Grandpa’s funeral the only things I paid attention to were the strange robes and irreverent actions of the man they called a minister.  I hated my grandmother’s brother for taking my spot as the musical number, he who was only the brother-in-law; I was the granddaughter.  We sang “How Great Thou Art,” and pretended to listen as the congregation recited the Lord’s Prayer.  I wasn’t upset, though.  Joe and I spent the “refreshment hour” being greeted by old people and making ringing noises with our half-filled glasses to see if anyone would check their hearing aids. 

It was church that Sunday.  I don’t know why.  I can’t even identify the feelings that I had managed to bottle inside of my being.  Candace’s sister, Bonnie, got up in the meeting; she having found her father’s lifeless body the Saturday earlier, who blamed herself for his death because she never got up to check on that noise in the night, whose mother was crazy, whose father was now dead, whose brother was on a mission in France and unable to offer support, who suddenly found this huge burden to carry, stood to address the congregation. 

I looked over at Candace and Allan and Heather, all sitting together, watching their sister bravely raise her head. 

I looked at my own parents, sitting with me, and my brother.  I thought of Annie, who had been shipped off to live with complete strangers. I thought of Will, laying in the Taco Bell parking lot at lunch. I thought of my grandfather, his beliefs. 

I’ve been taught the Plan of Salvation my entire life.  I’ve always known about it. I still do. I know of its truth.

I just don’t understand it.

As Bonnie stood there and cried into the microphone, attesting to the truthfulness of the Gospel and speaking of the mishaps of her family I cracked.  It was like Moses had struck the rock in the wilderness to bring forth water for the thirst of the masses. The flood that held Noah’s ark afloat re-enacted.

Still, I tried to conceal it.  The convulsion in my shoulders were fought.  I refused offers of tissue, afraid that it would give me away to others. The stone had broken, by the dam remained.

I leaned forward and put my head down, so they couldn’t see.  They couldn’t know.  It wasn’t about me.  I had no right. 

It was finally time for Sunday school – I couldn’t go to my class; Candace’s dad had been the teacher until a week ago. 

I ran, down the hall, away from the people.  I needed to find refuge.  I needed to find a place where no one would see me.  I couldn’t do this anymore.  I was ashamed of myself for letting it out.  There was no reason for me to do so!  

I found myself in the Young Women’s room at the far end of the hall.  No one would find me there.  I was safe.  I seated myself on the piano bench that had been my home in that room since I was a Beehive, and let the thoughts sweep over me. 

Why him? Why, of all the families out there did it have to be theirs?  Why did they need to be tested so?  Why, when everything was already messed up as it was did God have to take their father?  Why did he take Annie’s mother away from her?  Why the only person Annie knew as family?  Why couldn’t He have taken my life and flip-flopped it? 

Tears streamed down my face as I let myself finally release the pain.  My chest heaved with the newfound effort of breathing as I fought with myself for silence. 

Wasn’t I strong enough? Couldn’t I take it? Why was my life so simple? So good?  Why couldn’t the Lord have burdened me instead? What was stopping me from being capable? 

Suddenly, the door opened.  My head shot up, eyes searching for the impossible escape, tears still flowing.  The Young Women’s President entered, placed her bags on a chair, and came to sit with me. 

I stiffened, held my breath, tried to calm myself.  My face was as red as my heart, the blood filling my head with colour, my eyes giving me away completely. 

“It’s okay to cry,” she said as she rested her hand on my shoulder.

I looked at her, my heart swollen with ache, my lungs fighting for breath that I would not give them.  I told her it wasn’t okay.  I wasn’t allowed to do this.  I had no right.  It wasn’t about me.  There was no reason for me to be upset.  I had no feelings.  Prattling off to her the reasons why I shouldn’t be crying my hold was lost – releasing the air to speak released the air to let it out.  I was sobbing again. 

I don’t understand!  I don’t know what’s wrong with me!  I don’t know what it is that I’m feeling, why I’m feeling it.  It’s not right.  It’s not about me. Why am I doing this? Why am I so selfish? 

My heart flooded out through my tears, my questions, my anger.  I wept through the entire block. 

And then I was done.  The floodgates closed.  My breathing returned to normal and the colour drained from my face.  I could put my arms around Candace just for supper.  I could once again stand in front of all these girls who looked up to me and be there.  I didn’t need anything, anyone, anymore.  

I’ve been able to remedy the problem, whatever it was.  I cannot for the life of me place what feelings I had raging inside of me that day, nor can I explain my need for release. 

I’m alright, though.  I’m good now.  I don’t feel anymore.  Stone has returned, and oh what a wonderful thing. 

Not Giving Up

What a blessing this blog has already turned out to be! The enormous, POSITIVE response we’ve gotten is astounding!

As your comments roll into our Facebook inboxes, our emails, and now even on the actual posts themselves (hi, Reddit! WE’RE ON REDDIT!!!) we have the marvellous opportunity to share and laugh and cry with each other about your wonderful insight, experiences, and comforting words.

As I posted earlier in the week, THANK you, so much, for the overwhelming, amazing reception.

One of you used this wording in a message to me on Facebook, and I’m so glad you did!  You said: “…I think I would react much like you did. I really admire that you didn’t just give up on your marriage and you fought for it.”

…..“I really admire that you didn’t just give up on your marriage…”

Sigh.

Can I just tell you how tempted I was?

Here I sat, actually right in this very spot on this couch (isn’t it weird how we often gravitate to “our spot” – sleep on the same side of the bed, sit in the same spot on the couch… ohmigosh, I’m Sheldon!) across from my husband who I was struggling to like, anyway, and he’s completely tearing my world apart.

Why should I stay with him? There’s nothing for me here.  Nothing but heartache, disappointment, fatigue….

Prior to his announcement I had wondered to myself over and over what may be the best way to “knock some sense into him” or get him to “step up” and “get it together” and all sorts of other cliche you-suck-smarten-up ideas.  If we had lived closer to our families at the time I think it very likely we would have ended up separated, at least for some time, as I honestly felt it may be the only thing that could possibly get through to him.  I never did it because our daughter was in school, he had work…I couldn’t figure out the logistics of how it would all work if we separated and I was NOT willing to pay the full bills of a second home locally.

When he told me of his decision regarding the Church, I was floored, and I wanted out.  I thought my marriage was over.

…for about a millisecond.

I KNOW that initial conversation was almost impossible for him; it’s the most difficult conversation I’ve ever had in my life, no exaggeration.  But as repulsed and horrified as I was, I CARED.

When he started sobbing, expressing his concern and agony over the previous months that his newfound dissatisfaction with our faith may cause him to lose me as his wife, part of me thought, well, DUH, I’m OUT OF HERE!  But the part of me that’s a little more reasonable ACHED for the pain he was experiencing.

When he hurts, I hurt. When he cries, I DIE. He’s my Mister, and I love him. To see him hurting is brutal; I can’t stand it.

And he was hurting.

We decided then and there that we KNEW we loved each other, DO love each other, and would always love each other.  And while I know the words in the temple sealing ceremony that we were married with don’t explicitly use the phrase “for better or for worse” I personally go to that phrase ALL THE TIME.

For better or worse doesn’t mean I only love him when he’s happy, when he’s successful. When our hopes, dreams, goals, and ideas are all meshed perfectly in sync. When we like the same food, watch the same movies, and play all the same games.  It doesn’t mean when he loses his job and we’re scraping by on employment insurance that I can ditch him for someone who maybe “works harder,” or that when he’s oppressed by depression that I get to ship him off and select a mentally stable companion.

For better or worse doesn’t mean that when my depression hinders me from functioning as a wife and mother that he tosses me to the curb, or that when my weight balloons out of control and I hate myself that he can decide he does to and trade me in for the latest Young Women’s graduate.

It means we’re in this. For good. For bad. For everything. We’re in this together. Whatever this is, it’s ours.

I didn’t marry him because he was perfect. Nor because I expected him to be perfect! Heck, when we got married he was a socially awkward dork with pants that made his hips look bigger than mine and almost zero social skills, such that when we started dating a mutual acquaintance of ours pulled me aside and told me NOT to date him because he’s such a nasty son-of-a-gun and no one likes him!  (Telling that same acquaintance about our relationship flipping to the ‘serious’ category? Best. Conversation. EVER.)  And he didn’t marry ME because I was perfect. Gosh, I was so imperfect a missionary once teaching our Sunday School class actually interrupted his own lesson in front of everyone and asked my Mister “is this the woman you really want raising your children?” in all seriousness. It was BRILLIANT. (We didn’t like that Elder very much…but apparently he didn’t like me either, so we’re good!)

Anyway. I didn’t leave him.  I won’t.  He’s mine, and I love him.  Sometimes we forget how awesome we are and how much we enjoy being each other’s person, but he’s my person.  With him, I’m home.  I’ve never felt like that with anyone else ever, and I never will, because this is it for me.

My Reaction

I find, often, the easiest way to explain how I felt when he told me, is to just reference an email I wrote to a friend a few days after I had the information. So, with some editing (I changed the names – I don’t think I actually know a Mildred anywhere..?? Sorry, if I do! It’s not about you!) and PLEASE remember, this is a year ago, and NOT my best most charitable moment in time, AND he has read this himself, here you go:

Hiya!  

Sorry, I didn’t mean to give you the itch for the gossip over here and then not share…I know that’s brutal! AND I figured I’d email you, because frankly, I’m better in writing than in person, AND writing is SO DANG CATHARTIC soo…. don’t sit down to read this ’til you have time ’cause I can tell you right now it’s not going to be a short one! hahaha  
 
Okay, so Tuesday night my darling husband sat me down for some news.  I thought of all the make-or-break things I could think of and asked did-you-have-an-affair?-do-you-look-at-porn? the usually run-down of the list (which in your case includes smoking!) 😉 He said no to everything, so I breathed a sigh of relief, because I THINK I can handle just about anything else.  And really, what else could it be if I can’t in my wildest nightmares think of it?? Right? 
 
So then he tells me, point blank, he doesn’t believe the Church is true.  
 
Which….is a little bit stunning.  
 
Now, I know having a husband who doesn’t believe in the Church is not REALLY the end of the world – you’re doing it very successfully, Francine seems happy as a clam, Jane makes it work, Kathy too…. It is TOTALLY possible to have a wonderful, fabulous, fulfilling marriage with these men who DON’T hold the priesthood. 
 
Quite frankly, my marriage BLOWS.  It’s, again, nothing compared to what I am SO glad I cannot even imagine my dear friends like yourself, Linda, or my neighbour, or my other friend Cameron, or Mildred – ohmigoodness, I know way too many horrible horrible stories – have gone through. [My husband] doesn’t beat me, yell at me, abuse me in any way.  He IS employed, newly, but takes pride in taking temporal care of us, and really, he’s not all that bad a guy. At ALL.  So please, don’t misunderstand me and think that I’m being naive or ungrateful. I AM grateful! 
 
But my marriage sucks. We’re a joke. 
 
For 9 years [my husband] has just sort of existed alongside me. I drag him around, force him to do the odd thing…basically, I’ve been his mother for 9 years.  It’s exhausting.  And infuriating. He…doesn’t make me feel anything. I don’t feel important, appreciated, loved… I used to feel used because he only had time for me if he was aroused and wanted sex. I yelled at him for that after a few months.  Over the years, though, that has become less and less of a problem….probably being the MAIN reason why there’s such a gap between [our first baby] & this little nugget.  
 
I do EVERYTHING. Everything.  His contribution to this household outside of finances is non-existent. Not spiritually, not physically, nothing.  He does nothing. Even when I ask him to do something to help, he ‘forgets’ or doesn’t get around to it or…I don’t even know. It doesn’t get done unless I do it.  
 
And it’s been exhausting.  But you know what?  He’s a good man, he’s learning, he’s growing. I’m his wife, it’s my job to HELP him learn and grow and we work together. And being [my daughter]’s mom is the greatest thing in the world, so taking care of my two people, while I am far from HAPPY, makes me content, for the most part.  I can live like this. I am married to a good man with amazing potential, who for better or worse brings the priesthood into my home, and that is invaluable. 
 
So then, he tells me, he doesn’t believe anymore. His ONE redeeming factor in my eyes in the last NINE YEARS he has decided to announce, just like that, he is stealing away from me.  I am 4 months from having a baby and all of a sudden, just like that, her daddy won’t be blessing her. Because he’s been reading and researching and really struggling with things for a few months.  He’s done his due diligence and he just can’t believe it anymore. It can’t be true. Joseph Smith & Brigham Young were horrible tyrants and the Church has just covered it all up. We all THINK it’s true because we’ve been duped by psychology mumbo-jumbo blah blah blah… it makes us feel good because it’s comforting.  
 
Tuesday night I try my darndest to just listen. To let him talk to me. To tell me what he’s feeling, what he’s thinking. I try NOT to make him feel judged or uncomfortable, because I’ve found that is the WORST way to make a person feel, and probably one of the most un-Christlike things we can do to each other.  I bawl a bit when I think of my girls (yes, I’m expecting to have another perfect little girl) and the daddy they deserve and the one he’s decided to now become.  But he tells me he’s still the same good man he was the day before.  My instinct is to slap him, but I manage to hold it together.  
 
I ask him questions about HIS questions. What does he plan to do? Does he not believe in Mormonism or in Christianity, because that’s kind of a big thing to know – Joseph Smith is NOT Jesus Christ, and I need to know what is or is not ‘acceptable’ in his new belief system.  
 
He asks if he can hug me. I’m repulsed, honestly. Part of me wants to throw myself at him and be comforted, but he’s the ass MAKING me feel this way, and I want nothing to do with him.  But HE hurts, hurting me, so I let him, and we sob together. He assures me he loves me, and that he’ll do ANYTHING for me, for [our daughter]. He won’t make me go to church alone, he’ll support me in whatever I want to do…. 
 
Yesterday morning I woke him up with my sobbing.  I made good choices, Tarah. I somehow have the benefit of never having GONE through the ‘bad times’ and doing the things we’re not supposed to do.  I fell in love with a worthy priesthood holder, home from his mission. We covenanted to each other eternity in the Temple. I picked well.  And he’s just STOLEN it all from me.  
 
My mom came yesterday after I phoned and asked her to.  I needed help.  My world just came crashing down. My good man just told me he’s taking away the one thing I have always been able to love most about him when he’s made me feel awful. 
 
Mom was excellent.  She loves [him], too. But she knows me pretty well.  I started telling her I don’t want to force him to do anything he’s not comfortable with, make sure not to be all judgy and whatever….and she basically stopped me dead and yelled at ME.  hahaha Moms, eh?  She told me I need to STOP being my people-pleasing self, and for once in my life look at ME, put my foot down, and DEMAND what I want.  I did NOT sign on for a priesthood-free home when I married him, and I am NOT okay with it. I signed on for following the Proclamation to the World on the Family, raising my babies in the gospel, with a wonderful example of a priesthood holder as patriarch. Not for my dad and brother-in-law to have to bless and baptize my babies, for me to have to track down my impossible-to-reach home teachers when I’m sick and need a blessing, for my daughters to have to travel to grandpa for a “father’s blessing” before the school year…. Yes, other people do it, and no, there’s nothing WRONG with that at all. At all!  It’s just not what I want, nor what I’ve ever wanted. 
 
Yesterday I let him have it, after my mom left. She was right, honestly.  
 
I called him on the fact that for MONTHS he’s been keeping this secret from me, hiding in the basement “researching” when he should have been looking for a job. I told him it’s no different than having kept a porn collection hidden from view. That when he first encountered the issue he should have come to me – we’re MARRIED, and this is a huge thing. If he’d come to me we could have worked through it, researched together, and we’d either both be anti-Mormon right now, or both be reconciled with things and moving on. Instead he decided to hide it from me, and has consequentially made the decision to, for this instant in time, ruin my life, without any input from anyone else outside of the damned internet.  (I HATE computers. HATE them.)
 
I called him on his claim that he’s still as good a man today as he was before he told me. I told him that the thing that MADE him a good man to me was not his amazing husband skills, but his priesthood. Because as my husband he sucks.  He makes no effort and does not try to make me happy.  I should feel every day like I’m loved, wanted, appreciated…a freaking princess for pity’s sake. And he can’t even get it together to celebrate my 30th birthday.  I work every day in this house, on blogs, on dinner, lunches, to try to make things run as smoothly as possible for this family. I literally exhaust my physical body to the point now, where while pregnant, it fights back and I cause myself agonizing pain. And he STILL won’t help me.  
 
I said if he’s taking the one redeeming thing that he brings to my marriage away, then he had better damn well figure his crap out and man up. Because I am not spending the rest of my life feeling awful-to-mediocre in my marriage to a selfish overaged child.  I told him that as long as he is willing he WILL be coming to church with us, and when that is no longer something he can do then we need to separate and figure things out; I refuse to have to explain to my daughters why their father, whom I married in the temple, doesn’t join us for worship on Sundays. I told him when he touches me I have no desire to reciprocate his actions. I don’t want to hold his hand, hug, snuggle… but he’s to continue to do it, and do it MORE, because I believe in time that will be important.   
 
Anyway. That’s what’s going on.  I’m heartbroken.  But I’m better today. Other than tearing up a little bit I haven’t cried yet, so that’s progress.  I’m feeling strong and empowered. I can do this – this too shall pass. And maybe, out of it, I’m going to get the husband I’ve always wanted to be head-over-heels for and one day he’ll come back to his faith.  Either way, I’m done being made to feel like I have to accept the status quo. I am better than that. I rock. I need to be made to feel like it’s true. 
 
When you ask if there’s anything you can do…I don’t think so. I’ll need a friend when I can’t have my mommy – I’m lucky she’s close enough by that I can take advantage of her like that! 
 
[My husband] needs help, but I don’t know who or what or where to go to get it.  Regardless of his feelings about church, he needs to figure himself out and figure out once and for all how the heck to be a man. He needs to take care of his family, and not just by working 40 hours for a paycheque. We need so much more than money from our spouses and parents.  

 So…yeah. That’s how I felt. Please note FELT. PAST tense.  I’m happy to expound in better, less horrifically-nasty ways in future, but at the time I was TICKED.

A year later, we have our differences. He’s not perfect, not the perfect husband, but he’s FAR from being the worst. And goodness knows I’m far from being the perfect wife! (Though I’m closer than he is at this whole perfect spouse game… hahaha) We have a long way to go, but have come so far together as a couple in the 12 months. As far as our marriage goes this “crisis of faith” was a wake-up call.  We are better, and will continue to get better. We’re far from throwing in the towel. We differ in opinions and religion, but we love each other and our girls.  And that’s what really counts.