Am I Angry?

I was recently asked if I’m angry about my mister’s apostasy.

I don’t think it’s any surprise to you, dear readers, that I sure as heck WAS. VERY angry. My gosh. I was FURIOUS. How DARE he!?!? My perfect, picket-fence, Mormon dreams were completely DASHED because he had the audacity to RUIN MY LIFE!!!

(Remember this? Sigh. I do. All too well!)

But I’m not, now.  Really.

I tease and call him my moron, or that idiot or other degrading nasty names, but I’m a jerk in real life to everyone soooo…. it would almost be WRONG for me to ALWAYS be nice! 😉 And I know full well that he thinks I’m a brainwashed automatron, so…we’re good!

I don’t mean to sound flippant or crass, but I’m really not angry anymore.

Yes, of course, I wish things were different. I think anyone with huge differences in marriage wishes they weren’t so.  Especially unplanned for ones? I don’t know if it’s worse when you didn’t know about the divergence until later on in the marriage, as opposed to knowing ahead of time and barrelling on anyway?

But things aren’t different. So, what use is it for me to sit here and be a grump and be pissy and angry and treat him like garbage? Fun fact, I actually LOVE this man. I love him. Sometimes I forget WHY I love him 😉 but he’s delightful, and SUCH A GOOD MAN.  And we’re married, and to me? To him? That means something. EVERYthing.

We just don’t have the same religious beliefs anymore.

So what?

So get over it.

Up until recently he’s been so good as to even accompany us to church every. single. week.  True story. My apostate has a better attendance record since his apostasy than most ‘active’ members do! And why? Why would he do that?! BECAUSE HE’S NOT A BAD MAN! And even disbelieving its doctrine or whatever his beef is 😉 the church building itself isn’t going to cause him any harm. So he comes to help me juggle our two angels while I’m off teaching primary (and brainwashing the next generation muuahahahaha!)

But our baby isn’t a baby anymore, and is in Nursery now.

So….

I figure here are my options. I can MAKE him keep coming with us (not actually, physically make him, you know what I mean. “I am wife, hear me roar” kind of make) and have him resenting me, my faith, my traditions, and everything and anyone associated with those things, OR…

Dude, stay home. NAP. Enjoy some time to yourself while I take the kids. Make us lunch for when we get home, and then we’ll leave a lovely Sunday afternoon together (read: he gets the kids while I take a turn napping!)

His first Sunday staying home our 7-year-old says to me in the car on the way to church “It’s sure nice of Daddy to stay home from church to make us lunch!” hahaha I love that! I love her so much.  And she is just pleased as punch that her daddy is at home on Sundays looking after things while we go off to worship services.

So no, I’m really not angry. Not anymore. I have more important things to do with my energy than choose such a destructive attitude. Ain’t nobody got time for that! 🙂

And now I have to go fix my bed head before I head off to work because…. gross. Until next time!

A day off.

Now that we live closer to (and with!) family we’re seeing a lot more of everyone. And we are LOVING it. Especially our girls.

Our oldest especially loves playdates and sleepovers with her cousins, and this weekend she got to go up to their house, go to their ward Christmas party, see a baptism, go to church, and play until dinnertime at Grandma’s house.

Which meant Sunday morning, she wasn’t home with us.

Now, I need to tell you a little bit about my apostate: HE’S AWESOME. He may not believe, may think I’m totally wrong, a little insane, a lot brainwashed, and may not in his mind affiliate himself with the Mormon Church, but with the odd exception for illness or other extraordinary circumstances, he comes to church with us EVERY WEEK. He comes to be supportive, to make it easier on our kids, (and me, let’s be honest), because while he doesn’t believe it’s true he doesn’t think it’s BAD.

So he comes.

I woke up Sunday morning, to my alarm instead of my six-year-old climbing on me for morning snuggles,  and realized….he doesn’t need to come today.

I mean, really. I believe in the Spirit and that one is possibly more likely to experience it in the Lord’s church than sitting on his/her butt playing plants vs zombies at home, BUT…

…if the person in question doesn’t want to be there…

How many weeks has he come for me? Done that for me? Why not on a week when the kid is away give him a day off? He can apostasies to his heart’s content while I worship without worrying about people’s testimony-bearing and lauding of biased histories offending or further swaying him against my position?

So I got up with the baby, brought her back to bed, roused him a bit and asked “do you want the day off?”

He was so cute; he lit up like a kid at Christmas! “Sure!” And then….”what’s the catch?” hahahahaha

He got up and got the baby ready while I primped myself to go – what’s a day off if you’re stuck parenting all day? hahaha – and then baby and I left and he stayed home.

And you know, I think he really enjoyed not coming for a change. And it was so nice to do that for HIM instead of him doing the opposite for me all the time.

…don’t worry; he’ll be back next week. 😉

 

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.

Fascinating Conversations

Well, there you have it; he’s finally written something! hahaha Last week when our blog started getting some attention on Reddit and we were somewhat overwhelmed with comments and the seeming exponential increase in daily traffic after only a few days online, my Mister snuck into my WordPress account and made himself an author (I wouldn’t let him be an admin or whatever – I’m too controlling for that! muahahaha!) because he wanted to make sure he had a chance to say stuff, too!

But then he’s been a little busy.

And let’s face it; we have lives!  Albeit sometimes those lives consist of us sitting on the couch together plugged into our various electronic devices… whoops….

Anyway.

Let me tell you about our weekend.  As you know, Friday was our 10th anniversary. And while we didn’t really do anything special for our anniversary (being a grown-up means, a lot of the time, these special days are just DAYS) we were tremendously blessed the NEXT day to have a chance to go see Les Miserables playing in Toronto with my parents and brother & fiancee.

As always, it was INCREDIBLE, but more on that later.

After we got back to my parents and it was time for bed, for goodness knows WHAT reason, we crashed on the couch downstairs, and finally, after a year, the floodgates opened.

And we talked.

And HE talked.

For the first time, I think, since he started doubting, researching, learning, and changing his opinions and views, my hubs really opened up and just let it all out.  I mean, unless he’s still hiding things inside or we just ran out of time (1:30am came quickly! And with it some serious exhaustion; when did we get so old?)

Some of the things he brought up and listed….my gosh, it makes so much SENSE. If I didn’t have the faith that I do and I looked at what he’s learned or what he understands, there’s no WAY I’d be in this Church; no WONDER he’s left!

And that’s not to say that I’m better than him or anyone else because my faith is stronger or anything, goodness no! I just currently choose to hold to my faith.  My understanding is that faith is to hope and believe in things which are not seen (but true) and that it cannot by definition be a perfect knowledge. So yeah, there’s going to be lots of things to bombard my attempt at a perfect knowledge of religious truths, for sure. The test of my personal faith is whether I let go of it or not, because maybe Church history is a little bit (a lot? Crazy! And cool – I love history!) different than “Legacy” makes me think, or because I don’t totally understand the workings of the Church policies and functioning of the various quorums and presidencies.  I still don’t understand polygamy as a Celestial law, and definitely wonder about the not-so-up-and-up practices in the early Church….

But for me, it’s not enough to shake my faith. Not today.

It was a FASCINATING conversation.

We were joined, eventually, by my brother, who also does not consider himself a member of the Church, though technically both my boys are on the records so they’ll occasionally be bothered by annoying home teachers and what-not 😉  And then the conversation got REALLY interesting!  I did not know, but apparently my bro’s belief in Christ as the “Son” of God is that the whole Bible thing is more or less allegorical and that Jesus, The Son, is actually the SUN, as in the celestial body in the sky during the day.  Kind of a super cool theory, no? He read something somewhere – let me know if you’re interested in what and I’ll find it and link it for you – and basically said, yup, that makes sense to me, and that’s what he subscribes to.  Very very neat.

My Hubs thinks that theory has basically been debunked… it was some movie, Zietgeist? Or something? No idea spelling, but anyway, the movie was totally ripped apart somewhere else?

Anyway. It’s taken us a year, but we’re finally getting to the point where we are very comfortable and non-confrontational, sitting and chatting about our various beliefs.  And it makes, honestly, for absolutely fascinating conversation.  Assuming he’s right we discuss this; assuming I’m right we discuss that… assuming the sun is The Son there’s a whole different spin on things.  And, goodness, if you take Christianity out of the mix entirely and praise Allah, well, I don’t know anything about that, but I’m sure it’s another riveting topic!

I don’t believe you can truly be “Mormon” without love and respect for everyone else’s beliefs or opinions. It’s in our Articles of Faith. Almost like, the top thirteen things most important in our religion, would you say? Important enough we all learn to memorize and regurgitate them from Primary ages on? We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God…and allow all men the same privilege; let them worship how, where, or what they may.  Not we’re right, you’re all wrong, and you’re all going to outer darkness while we party it up in the Celestial Kingdom. HA HA HA YOU SINNERS!

….I still think he’s wrong…but he thinks I’m wrong. So we at least have that in common. 😀

STOP WITH THE TABOO! TALK about it! Differences are GOOD! They make us interesting! They help us LEARN and GROW and GET BETTER. Image from: http://tisistirades.blogspot.ca/2011/06/stupid-situation-6-talking-about-your.html

10 Years

Today is our tenth anniversary.

Ten years.

I can’t get over the fact that I’m even old enough to have been married for ten years, though some would argue that I’m definitely not and was a moron young bride… (TOTALLY was!)

I met my husband when we were both youth in the Church, through the other girls in my stake I’d met at girls’ camp, when we were all FINALLY old enough to start going to dances. (Yes, Mormons dance. I don’t know where that rumour that we don’t dance comes from? Maybe because we’re so awesome at it? <em>shudder</em>)

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I don’t remember the first time ever we met, but I do remember, generally, being struck by this boy. He was a little older, a little quirky, a little brilliantly intelligent and interesting, and a LOT beautiful; my GOSH his smile!

He used to wear the dumbest outfit to the dances, and I just loved it. A bright, BRIGHT orange Hawaiian shirt, buttoned up and accessorized with a black and yellow smiley-face tie.  The man was a stunner.

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I remember one night we were all – a whack load of us from our circle – at my house, and he left the group to go hang out in the yard on the trampoline. Which, in hindsight, was really weird; there was no one else out there. What did he go outside for? What a weirdo! 😉

Our friends, knowing I was more or less smitten, jumped all over me the second the door closed behind him:

Now’s your chance! Get out there! Ohmigosh, GO!! So, eventually, I followed.

All I remember about that evening is laying on the trampoline with a good friend, listening to him prattle off all sorts of fascinating information about the various constellations and star patterns. And not in a pretentious, annoying, trying-to-impress-a-girl way, but just in a dorky, I-know-and-am-interested-in-this-stuff way.

I fell in love, I swear.

When I was 16 a girlfriend of mine who is the little sister of a guy friend of HIS, knowing of my admiration, URGED him to tell me…I don’t know what. But basically he needed to deal with the whole…thing…I had for him.  I thought I was doing fairly well on my own, admiring from a distance, with no pressure or attempts to progress our acquaintance to “the next level” or anything.

So when I got this email from him, it was TOTALLY out of the blue:

Well, I’ve put off giving you a response till now (selfish, I’m sorry) because I’ve been trying to figure some things out, about me, and others, and about just where things stand between me and others. If that’s a little unclear, I’m being purposefully vague. Unfortunately, I find my feelings toward you to be plutonic. You are a good friend, but I don’t see our relationship in a romantic light.  Again, sorry.  I don’t want what we have to decay, but I just don’t see us together like that. 

Your friend, sheepishly,

[Him]

……TOTALLY OUT OF THE FREAKING BLUE!! I had NO IDEA he had a clue I had a crush on him. And my gosh, at 16? I called my mom into the office to decipher the meaning of “plutonic” for my Neanderthal vocabulary skills!

(…why I still have this email is a whole different can or worms best left for another day, but let me just say he’s apparently NOT the only one with issues!)

Somehow, after that and the fact that a week after I got the plutonic email he started dating some scrawny little doe-eyed number from an adjacent stake, our friendship survived.

We grew up, stayed in minimal contact during his time on his mission in Korea and mine in Utah at BYU, and one day, when he was home and I was on a break from school, our paths crossed again.

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We were thrilled to see each other. We made plans to hang out, NOT to go on a date, for the next evening, to catch up on the couple years we’d both missed; catching up with old friends is always exciting.

By the end of our 13-hour non-date the next day, I was head over heels again. Good grief. I don’t believe in soul mates, but he and I are apparently about as perfect a fit as can be if my heart has anything to say about it! One day with him and I’m in agony because I know I can never be with him because he’s not interested. He wrote it in an email 4 years ago! (Which I didn’t know I still had at that point…I’m not crazy enough that I like, read it before bed every night or anything. ….NOW I do… 😉 kidding).

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Apparently, while I’m sitting thinking, <em>that dang email</em> he’s sitting across from me thinking pretty much the same thing. I don’t know what changed, which of us had matured (both, I’m sure) or why I was suddenly for him, but it worked.

A month later we started a long-distance relationship. Then I got deported (BOOYah!) when I had mono (best semester at school EVER) and we picked up where we’d left off. I came home in March. He proposed in June. We were married in October.

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We’ve had lots of ups and downs since then, not the least of which is our newfound difference of religious opinions, but I wouldn’t trade the ride and the journey together for anything, or anyone. Sure I wish he were better at doing the dishes or turning off the computer and paying attention to me (as I sit here and blog this – I know, I know), and I find his social ineptness hilarious and irritations at different times, depending on my own mood. And goodness do I know there are things about me he wishes he could change. But me and him? We’re a pair.

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He’s my best friend. My confidante. My support, my love. We don’t currently agree about things of the Gospel, or even which Deity may be the real deal, or whether the Holy Ghost is an actual entity or a psychological reaction to comforting environments and teachings, but he is now and forevermore MY mister.

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Happy anniversary, babe. Here’s to another 4.6 years to beat the odds, and another lifetime after that. I love your guts.

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.

Was it the right decision?

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This one cracks me up every time I see it! X-)

We’ll, we got our first question, and it’s a doozy! Thanks so much, for asking. Your asking questions allows us to examine our situation and work together to understand it a bit better, even. LOVE that.

Question: “in retrospect, was it still the right decision?”

My answer? No, of course not! My husband’s an idiot! 😉 hahahaha

HIS much more thoughtful, insightful response:

“To which decision is [the question] referring? Deciding to follow my findings and conclusions by expressing by disaffection from the church or staying with you and making our marriage work? I would say yes to both questions. I feel that both have been right decisions that have led to both great peace of mind and a happier home. You have been so good with our situation over the past year, giving me strenth and support and it has forced us into working on improving our myriad of other marital issues. I didn’t realise that I had managed to hold onto you because you wanted the priesthood in your home. Now I realise that I was that close to losing you, and that I no longer have that crutch to lean on.”

So, there ya go.

Honestly, I’ve never in my life felt more betrayed, heartbroken, or desperate for help. But for the most part those feelings have passed. I wish it could have happened a different way, of course – I DO believe and hold the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ very near and dear – so I wish regularly that my husband could have made a different “right” decision.  And yet I am SO thankful that he did.  This has been a wake-up call for us in our relationship and marriage. We have made such great strides together. And I am SO SO glad that although it took him time, he was secure enough in me, and in us, that he COULD make this decision.

Does that answer your question? Any others? 🙂