My apologies that this post is so long. And probably very boring to those that didn’t ask the questions.
Brandon and I were both raised LDS. We both share the same beliefs that we were brought up with, but that doesn’t mean we apply the teachings to our daily lives. Brandon got kicked out of the church because of our actions. (Having sex with someone you are not legally married to.) I got disfellowshipped. It’s a step down from excommunication. I was not as active and didn’t hold the priesthood, and that is why Brandon was held to higher standard than I was.
The church is a HUGE deal in our marriage and probably the biggest issue we deal with. It’s like the elephant in the front room that nobody mentions. We just throw a rug over it and pretend it doesn’t exist. Brandon has a great desire to live the Gospel. He wants to be re-baptized into the church and be an active member. I have no desire. I feel like I am happier without the stress of trying to be somebody I am not. I can’t deal with the guilt that gets shoved in my face every week. I am not happy about Prop 8. I do not like being LDS and divorced. It feels like the ultimate failure.
In most healthy relationships one spouse would say to the other, “Go ahead and do what you want. Attend the church you want to attend, be who you are.” BUT, we don’t roll like that, because we aren’t a healthy functioning unit. This is where the trust issues come into play. I don’t trust Brandon to attend church for three hours every Sunday and all the weekly activities without me. It’s not like I think he is going to go skirt chasing in Sunday school. But I know how he works. He will feel like he should be with somebody that shares his desires for the eternal family. He will want the cute little molly-mormon girl that he used to have. Brandon was only unhappy in his first marriage because he never got sex. Like never, as in, maybe, once a month. MAYBE! I promise there are plenty of cute little Mormon girls that like sex. So, I am insecure in our marriage because of the issues that surrounded our meeting and falling in love. This is most likely not making sense to those that aren’t LDS. But anyway, I am doing my best to explain.
Yes, we were both still married to our previous spouses when we met and fell and love, but we were both separated and divorcing. The court hadn’t finalized the divorces. It wasn’t like we stole each other from our happy homes. Both of our homes were broken already. I had walked out on my previous spouse and had an affair with my ex boyfriend from high school. It was a 6-month emotional affair, and a one weekend physical affair. I came home on April 1st from that weekend and asked for a divorce. I wasn’t happy with my marriage and I wasn’t deserving of a faithful husband. I do wish at times that I were the type of person that could have never told and went on with my life. I know so many people that can do that. How come I can’t? I think a bad thought and I feel it necessary to tell Brandon and everyone for that matter. I am constantly purging.
Brandon exited his marriage opposite of me. He slowly wandered, drifting away quietly. He isn’t the explosion that I am. He is steady and thoughtful. The problem with the way he exited is that he was living with one foot in and one foot out. He justified sex with others, because he was separated, but would come home on weekends, and wear his ring, and go to church with the family. I am not sure which is the better way to exit, but we are now both fearful that we will do the same to each other. He is sure I am going to fall in love with someone and run off and sleep with him or her and announce it when I come home. I am convinced he is going to slowly drift away, until one day he just doesn’t love me anymore. That is the way he said it happened before. The trust issues are huge, but we do not know how to change it.
Family occasions with the exes….. No, it doesn’t happen. If you read my blog, you will know I still have issues. I try to limit the amount of conversation and emails to the ex. I am nostalgic. It makes not looking back difficult. When he came to California for Christmas to spend some time with the kids, I flew off to Maui. I didn’t feel like I could even be in the same state as he was. I don’t hate him. I am not mad at him. I just don’t want to feel anything for him. I wish he were just a neighbor I could wave at. But after a fifteen-year marriage, with ups and downs, and a dozen kids, it’s a lot to let go of. I haven’t figured out how to do it.
Brandon claims he doesn’t feel anything for his ex. How is that possible? I am not sure if I believe him. I know the things I deal with, so I automatically put those feelings on him as well. I can hardly get through the weekends that his kids are here, because I make up feelings that I think he should be having and put them on him. Therefore, he is in trouble for feeling the way I think he should feel, when in fact, he doesn’t feel that way at all. Any of you interested in being married to me?
Did that answer the question about socializing with the exes? We don’t do it.
How do we agree when we both want things done our own way, or the old way?
We don’t have too many issues with this. Unless it is something that irritates me and then Brandon just surrenders. He doesn’t give me a reason to be more emotional than I already am. Stupid things like handy man stuff, I have to walk away from the scene. My ex worked construction, so he knew how to do everything. Brandon worked in an office in a suit, so when I see him trying to fix something, I walk away. In the beginning it bothered me, but now I let it go. He fixes the broken stuff. It doesn’t matter how it gets done, just that he gets it done.
Other minor things like wearing a pair of pants more than once without washing them, or not making a vegetable with dinner, reading on the toilet…all those little annoyances, are just that, annoying, but they are not worth an argument. Well, the reading on the toilet was, but he stopped.
Did the older kids adjust? Yes, it only took about six months. The kids loved Brandon right away. He is a great guy. I think it is just hard to think about your parents being with somebody else. My parents are divorced and I still have a hard time with it.
Why didn’t I let the church excommunicate me? “I should have.” is the correct answer. BUT at the time, I think it would have been a big slap in the face to Brandon. We knew we wanted to be together, both of our divorces were finalized, we were living together and acting like a married couple. So I couldn’t have been working on putting my old marriage back together without breaking up with Brandon. I didn’t want to hurt the kids by doing that. They had just adjusted to him. I loved him and wanted to be with him, I just wish we wouldn’t have done it so fast. But, I also don’t know if it would have worked any other way. So when the Bishop said get married or get excommunicated, I said, “Okay, we will drive to Vegas this weekend.” And that’s how it happened.
We really are happy. We are each other’s “number one.” Even in the chaos of 14 kids, 4 step kids, two dogs, a few exes and the drama that follows me. WE ARE HAPPY! I found love when I found Brandon. I have been blessed. We have been together almost 4 years and they have been the best years of my life.
How do we keep the love alive with so much on our plates?
I think I really answered that one above. I think the true secret is putting Brandon first. Even before the kids. We go out at least once a week alone, we make date night a priority. We have regular sex trips that allow us a night away to swing from the chandeliers if we want to. We talk constantly. Not just about the kids. We have “emotional yip-yap” often. We have sex regularly. I think that is a HUGE thing in a marriage. We go for walks a few times a week just the two of us.
Brandon is amazing. He tells me everyday how beautiful I am. He kisses me hello and goodbye even if he is just driving down the street to get a kid or two. He listens to me. He is there for me. He makes sure I eat three meals a day and that my diet coke is cold at all times. He does the heavy lifting and unclogs the toilets. He is my dream come true!