Friday, August 17, 2012

A long day is speaking at a symposium and then going straight into being filmed for a documentary until 2:00am.

So, Saturday was an incredibly long day.

First, we went to the Compassionate Cause symposium where I was on a panel because I am an expert where when we say "expert" we mean someone who has had their own therapy practice for one entire year.

Actually, being on the panel was really cool because it was a symposium talking all about homosexuality in the Mormon church, and the panel was, as I said, a panel of therapists. So I ended up being the only person on the panel who was Mormon and gay and a therapist which meant that I accidentally probably talked way too much and people were probably like "how can we get this guy to shut up without saying 'hey, could you shut up now?'"

Also, there was this really weird moment where I was sitting there in front a roomful of total strangers and started telling my story...

I was like "okay, so a few months ago I published a blog post in which I came out.." and my friend, therapist Aimee Heffernan who was also on the panel, was like "Um, Josh. Everybody knows this story. It went viral" and everyone in the audience nodded and laughed like "yeah dummy, tell us something we don't know." It was totally surreal. I still can't get used to that kind of thing. Which is probably good preparation for six months from now when nobody has any recollection whatsoever of who I am anymore because six months is like fourteen centuries in Internet Time.

Anyway, after the panel, Lolly came up and we told our story and it was really nice to have Lolly up there by my side. She was so good.

In fact, here's footage just posted on Youtube if you're interested. (Don't feel bad if you skip this):


I think it's important to note that Lolly was told she was hot by several people. And that's because she looked amazing.

Overall, I thought the symposium went really well. There was an ecclesiastical panel that truly blew my mind. I loved everything they had to say. I didn't get to see the keynote or basically the first half of the day because I was busy raising three young daughters. (We were lucky to get childcare for the six hours we were there.)

Afterwards, we met tons of amazing people, which was a real shame because I spent about 87% of that time being stupidly distracted by all the stimulation around me, which means people were probably like "wow, does this guy even know how to interact with other humans?" If you met me and I was weird, know that it's not you. It's me.

And then we went home, and like five seconds later Kendall Wilcox came to interview us for a documentary. He's won an Emmy for filmmaking. It's seriously nbd.

That interview was long but also good. I hope our voice contributes good things to the dialogue he is helping to create.

Afterwards, we stayed up talking for several hours because, well, the entire crew was awesome. I introduced them to white chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream. I think we all felt like it was worth staying up 'till 2am.

That is until I woke up at 7am, at which point I wanted to die.

So, all in all, there was about 4 to 6 hours of footage taken of me and Lolly talking on Saturday. What, you might ask, are the chances of me having gone for all that time without saying at least something ridiculous? I assure, the chances are zero. I haven't seen whatever I botched yet, but I'm sure it's coming. And when it does I'll share.

Garsh I'm tired. Being a therapist and a writer/blogger and a parent can be strenuous. (Probably the most first-world thing I've ever said.)

But by golly my life is good. Really, really good.

G'night all.

66 comments:

  1. Hi josh , I have some questions that really need answers but I'd like to email you about them. So if you get a strange email in your inbox please open it. Oh yeah but first I have to find your email.

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  2. Or I will Facebook message you.

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  3. Thank you for speaking and being interviewed until you're really tired and want to die, because it really does mean so much to so many of us.

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  4. You crack me up! Thanks for reminding to not take myself or life too seriously. It's nice to belly laugh first thing in the morning when I read your posts.

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  5. I totally get that you made the choice yourself which is great because so many have it made for them! That said, your choice was based on what you had been told, what been been put in your brain since you had conscious thought. So in a way, it's a choice based on other people's interpretation of the Bible. Had you been raised by Christians who look more at the context and original language of the Bible, I wonder if your choice would have been different. Just a thought.

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    1. Just so you know, my choices have never been on what I was told, or put into my conscious thought. They are based on studying things out in my own mind and heart and then basing my decisions on what's right for me. You make it sound like we all walk around like brainwashed zombies!

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    2. I didn't say that at all but I suspected that might be one reaction to what I wrote. I'm not saying anyone is brainwashed. People raised with Islam believe they make decisions with their own mind and heart, Jewish people ditto, Jehovah's Witnesses ditto, etc. etc. People raised in a religion generally either completely leave that religion or they stay in it, accepting its values as their own. Choice has less to do with it than you'd (or I'd) like to think - it's the foundation you've been raised with. I'm not making a value judgement on that - it's just reality. There are dramatic examples of course of people turning their back on their religions as that seems to be one of the two main reactions, not so much anything in between.

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    3. People really? Not this who battle again geez. Everyone just stop making comments that are uncalled for... Arghhh it's so frustrating to see these posts!!!

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    4. @ Original Anonymous (I think I'm #4), I know many who are somewhere in between. Many people simply walk away but still appreciate many -- but not all -- of the virtues of their former belief system. Some simply don't actively participate in their religion but have nothing against it. I understand that there are studies out there saying that people don't have a choice and have to either fully embrace it or reject it entirely. The problem with this is that you are reducing people to "studies" or statistics and it's demeaning.

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    5. I'm not reducing people to statistics. I'm stating facts and simply noting that if Josh had been raised with a different belief system, he might be making different choices. Someone disagreed so I expanded the thought.

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    6. Everyone operates off of a belief system of some sorts. Your reality may not be my reality. You may operate from studies or science and I from religion. Just because you believe something to be true does not mean that it is. That is just what your reality has told you. So I choose to look at things from a bigger perspective.
      This earth was created from truth and those truths still operate and will always. There are foundational truths that will always be. You cannot change them, I cannot, but we can choose to find them and live our lives centered on truth.
      This is where religion comes in, for me. however these truths are also found in science, nature, ect. I can find these truths in the Bible and as a Mormon, in the Book of Mormon. Every human being that comes to this earth is governed by these truths, whether you believe it or not. When I choose to operate off of these truths, I am truly happy. It takes beliefs and reality out of the picture!

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    7. Not sure what you mean by, 'it takes reality out of the picture."
      Every human is governed by the Book of Mormon? Not sure I interpreted that correctly.

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  6. That was so nice of you to introduce them to white chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream because it is definitely the best ice cream ever.

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  7. Josh, I just wanted to say that I think you are soo funny. I was in stitches at the 'All a Buck or More' post. The glass bag cracked me up. I've always wanted a handbag that could potentially shred my arm to ribbons, and now I can have one! I really have to pay a visit to Utah sometime.

    I have a question for you if you don't mind me asking. Why do you think some people turn out be homosexual? And why do you think that God wouldn't want you living a gay lifestyle?

    Also, I have a Mormon-related question. Do you find the musical 'The Book of Mormon offensive?

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  8. Hey josh... I've been following since thee blog, and figure you can't really talk about specific LDS topics on such a public page. So I was wondering if there was anywhere we could discuss certain items that I've been having a hard time with as a gay Mormon. Thanks!

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  9. what does nbd mean?

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  10. Loved this! I think you did a terrific job of explaining why YOUR relationship works and not holding it up as a model for everyone else to think it would work for them.

    Oh, and Covington - we used to live in Covington and were even in Kent 7th ward from 1990 to 1992. My parents live in Covington and my doctor's office is at the Covington Multicare so I go there a LOT. And I have a son at BYU-I and my husband went there when it was Ricks - I knew we had some connection :-)

    Also, to Anonymous @7:42 a.m. - I don't want to wage a theological battle here, but as LDS, we most strongly consider ourselves Christian and we DO read the bible and believe we understand it. We just also have the Book of Mormon, which is subtitled as Another Testament of Christ.

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    1. I have no issue with Mormons being Christians. And I'm sure you read the Bible as millions do. What I was saying is that millions of other Christians read it and don't come to the same conclusions about homosexuality. Had Josh been raised in that kind of Christianity, his decisions regarding his own life might have been quite different.

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  11. I've been following since a kind time before THE post. I'm not gay or Mormon, but have found something great, beautiful, and... relatable (?) in your coming out. I see the beauty in accepting who you are and doing what it's right for you. Somehow when you came out, I wasn't surprised. I have no idea why. I just thank y'all for your honesty and three sharing of yourselves.

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  12. I enjoyed this interview. Lolly, I'm glad you brought up the process that happens over time (Josh, you mentioned it, too, I think) more than once. I think it's so easy to underestimate the healing, conviction, and perspective that come with time. (Okay, that's all. I've tried to elaborate about ten times now to explain how my husband and I have come to appreciate giving things time, but it's just not happening. I guess you'll just have to trust I have reason to be grateful for time....) :) Thanks for posting the interview. I appreciated it.

    Oh, yeah, I also have thought dozens of times since "The Post" that your openness with each other from the beginning is a big part of what has made this work for you. As important and fundamental as orientation is, I feel certain that the secrecy that so often accompanies it in a mixed orientation marriage is far more damaging. In most experiences I know of where a marriage is broken by mixed orientation, the straight spouse has been taken by complete surprise when the other came out of the closet years into the marriage. The sense of betrayal in the straight spouse through such a large secret and the stress of duality within the gay spouse, are compounded by the years that have been founded on stifling a secret life. A marriage would struggle to survive any secret of that magnitude no matter what the secret.

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  13. I'm stoked that Kendall interviewed you. That's awesome!

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  14. Different Anonymous than the ones above.August 17, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    I love this true story. It gives me hope. Some people just want to have what the Church says is right despite their sexual orientation, and even though not every gay person "has to", they at least know it's POSSIBLE. Marriage doesn't require sexual attraction at the beginning to survive anyway. It requires commitment. That sexuality just builds through the years for some.

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  15. When you watch the video, listen to his answer to the first question during the question and answer section. He says that he does not want his story used so that others can know that because of him, anyone else will think what he has done is POSSIBLE for anyone else. He makes this clear. He says he is using his story so that people can know that homosexuality exists. Period. Josh says that on the video. Maybe people could use his story the way he wants it used, not the way they want it used.

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  16. I think, for me, your coming out post helped me change my paradigm of my world and identity. I never identified as gay because I don't appreciate the gay culture that has developed over time. However, I have always had that orientation. It's really hard when you are stuck between two ideals and have nobody to turn to. You were lucky, Josh, that you had Lolly and that you had your parents. I didn't feel I could talk to anybody about it. However, I knew what my hormones wanted, while at the same time, I knew what I believed religiously. They were in serious conflict. The messages out there were all the same -- the voices from the gay culture stated I had to leave the church -- the voices from the church that gays were not welcome -- nobody stood up and said someone of my orientation could be an upstanding member of the church. I kept it secret and hidden until I found the girl that I fell in love with. And then I only shared it with her. We've been married almost 18 years and have a wonderful marriage. But there still are very few voices speaking out about the validity of my choices, and I was so happy to read that blog post of yours. I hear so many voices decrying choices like mine, that I'm not honest, or that I'm somehow damaged and my existence as a gay husband and father somehow hurts my wife and children. But I know better, and thanks to your post, I know I'm not alone.

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    1. I really like this comment. It makes me want to be more loving and accepting of people in general. Josh and Lolly's post made me feel that way too. It made me want to live in such a way that people didn't feel judged by me. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  17. Thank you for sharing this video! After watching it I am even more certain that your choices in regards to this sensitive issue were inspired, directed, carefully measured and most of all desperately needed! I know many people who are finding themselves connecting to your story on multiple levels. I am intimately acquainted with a number of stories similar to yours that are currently unfolding in the lives of those I love. I do not believe it a coincidence that it is the two of you who have been inspired to share your story in these forums as well as manage with such gracious consideration the responses to it! Thank you for your courage, determination, love and integrity. I believe it takes the example of people, such as yourselves, with a strong determination to be obedient to personal "Spiritual Guidance" to help the rest of us discover our own paths and then act with integrity in pursuing and embracing our own Divine Destiny! I am very grateful!

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  18. I watched that video and I think it was for sure more explanatory than your original post. Not that the original post was bad, but I think hearing you say actual words out of your mouth was really helpful.
    Plus, crazy tidbit about Lolly's grandpa. I think it gives a little more real-ness to your story, since you guys knew the bad that could come from this type of marriage. That must have been tough for Lolly's family to go through, I would love to hear stories from their point of view, after seeing that on how they were able to support this decision.

    I do have to say, it was really great to hear you say that you DON'T think this is right for everyone. Out loud. And to know it was genuine. And to see how much Lolly cares, especially when she made the note about saving a life. I guess the thing is you guys bounce around the subject alot, but do you/would you support someone choosing to live the "gay lifestyle" (I agree it's not the best phrase but for lack of better words)? For example, if one of your girls was gay and didn't want to enter into a mixed orientation marriage, but rather wanted to marry a woman, would you support that?

    Just wondering.

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  19. Josh and Lolly, thanks for being so loving and brave. I think the world is a better place because of you two.

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  20. I seriously think the need for a forum here is increasing every minute. A forum where it would be easier for people to connect to each other. I know of a few people who have had questions that you (with your experience) might answer better than anyone. So please make one, if time allows you, of course!

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  21. omg- what is white chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream and where can I get some right now? that sounds amazing.

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    1. It's Haagen Daas. I've only seen it in the little pint sized servings at the grocery store. You. Will. Love. It.

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  22. Josh and Lolly.
    The issue about people using your story to point to their gay loved ones
    and say "See! We told you! If they can do it, you can too." , is worse than you might have contemplated.
    I came across your story through mormonchat, when I told the missionary that one of my main concerns with Mormonism was its stand on homosexuality. What followed? The missionary linking me the Coming out post, and saying "That's our stand on it."

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  23. I just think if you could do another post on how important it is that your story be not taken as an ideal for everyone gay (and we know you've stated it millions of times before), it would REALLY help. Just consider it, please. :)

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  24. I think no matter how many times Josh says it, people will still use it. I think part of the problem is the mixed message he is sending - don't use me as an example on the one hand and interviews, a documentary, etc on the other. The comments on here that Josh's way is a possibility for others makes it clear over and over again that it is being used. And not once has Josh clearly stated the he believes homosexuality is a sin. Assuming that everyone knows that is not a reason not to say it as many may not. I get that he is bringing homosexuality out of the Mormon closet and that is admirable. I just can't quite understand why some people insist on using his story in a way that he doesn't intend.
    And I have to say I cringed when I found out that Lolly's grandfather had died of AIDS - this will help to fulfill the steretype for some people that all gay men die of AIDS. oy.

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  25. Josh and Lolly,
    I've only been a spectator until now, but have appreciated your decisions and honesty. My husband and I are in a similar situation (including a house full of girls!). We haven't publicly "outed" ourselves and I'm not sure if we ever will. Thank you, though, for generating this dialogue. I wasn't aware of anyone else with a background so like ours and I admire both your courage to tackle this topic and your desire to help those who may be feeling worthless and hopeless. My husband and I have a fabulous and secure marriage. I consider ours a grand love story. We are very active and involved with our ward. My husband, in particular, is very popular with the youth because he is just way cool and can connect spiritually with them. He is solid in his testimony and convictions. There may come a time, that we feel prompted to discuss our story within our ward and community, but for now, it is too scary. I wouldn't mind sharing our story, but I do worry about what the ramifications might be for our kids. Our life is very full and actually, quite wonderful. Although I have zero regrets about marrying my husband (he's the best!), there are times when I do feel isolated simply because we have had to figure this all out ourselves. So, really, I just want to reach out and high five you guys. I know it must be challenging to be in the spotlight and tiring to explain your choices over and over. My husband emailed Josh a while ago to thank him and I just wanted to add my support.

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  26. my husband is gay as well, something I knew going in. We have four wonderful children. Ours is a great love story as well. My husband worked with youth, I guess you could say he was also considered 'way cool.' We'd been married 16 years when he told me he had a crush on one of the youth (who was 18, thank goodness). the boy looked at least 20. We prayed about it and felt God leading us to have him continue to work with youth but not be alone with this boy who we felt also had inclinations. It was hard but we soldiered on and remained committed to each other and our faith. A year later, he confessed to me that he had a few indiscretions with this boy, who was by then 19 and really an adult. I never asked for details. We have kept this to ourselves and the boy has since moved with his family to another city (not related to the incidents). This was also very difficult but we got past it. My husband and I have decided that he won't work with youth anymore. It was just one slip up and he has re-committed himself to me and to our Heavenly Father.
    I also have no regrets about marrying my husband and am one hundred percent certain that this will never happen again. I trust the anon. above is making certain that her husband is never alone with one youth at any time. I think that was the issue with my husband and now we make absolutely sure that he is never alone with any men, just as a really unnecessary precaution. I trust my husband!

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    1. Thank you! I really appreciate your thoughts and story. He is careful to follow Church guidelines concerning the youth, but we could certainly be more vigilant I'm sure. I am very watchful and often ask him how he is doing. He encourages me to ask a lot of questions. I feel like we are doing well, but again, we are kind of figuring everything out ourselves and so I'm sure there are things we could do better. The bishop is aware and I have told a couple of my close friends (not living in the area), but they don't have experience with this. They are a great support though. It is interesting to me that I knew about everything going in to marriage and we have had a wonderful marriage, but not, after 11 years, I feel more of a desire to talk about it and get insight from others who are in similar marriages. I'm not really sure what changed. Again, Thank you!!!

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    2. You mentioned that you kept this among yourselves about your husband having a few incidents with the 19 year old. I would hope that you didn't keep this a secret from your bishop. I assume that you are Lds, so confessment to the bishop is needed to get complete forgiveness from the Lord. I am just trying to help you out.

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    3. thank you. Yes, it was all done as it should be done both with our Heavenly Father, our bishop and legally and the charges were very quickly dropped.

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    4. That's good, I hope you move forward in your life and stay happily married.

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    5. charges?! wtf. your husband's homosexuality isn't what you should be worrying about. it's his pedophilia. UGH. this is what sickens me. one gay person is a sicko and the whole bunch will be named child molesters. get a clue you stupid mormon wife.

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    6. my husband is not a peodophile! the man was 19 years old. the charges were not related to pedophelia but stalking which wasn't true anyways.

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  27. I'm happy to be of help! And to offer the things that are working for us and happy to hear whatever you have to share as well. I'm glad that you are watchful - that is something that has always worked well for us. I also am very careful to check any mail he gets and also to randomly check his browser history online. We've only ever had an 'issue' with the internet a few times and again, whatever he was (very briefly!) watching was always adults. (not that that makes it right but it was a bit of a relief). This might sound odd but he and I also agree to not have him go camping with his friends - not that anything would ever happen but again, super cautiousness seems to be the ticket for us anyway. I have to admit though that sometimes I am probably over watchful or whatever and I get a little tired! He reassures me daily that I am his only love and that he has everything under control and that really helps as well. I encourage him to always be honest about any other 'crushes' he has and he has been - I think just telling me released the pressure of it. We agree that it is okay for him to have crushes once in awhile, heck, I do too!
    This is so nice to talk about!
    Over the years his need for me has waxed and waned but I think that is to be expected in any marriage! During the waning times we simply pray a lot more and believe and it all works out.

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    1. my sympathies. you love someone who simply cannot love you back. so you have him on a leash. ugh. sad.

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    2. He isn't on a leash! and he loves me!

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  28. There is safety in being open and honest. I am really good at burying emotions in an effort to avoid hurting my husband's feelings. I am working on expressing and even embracing emotions as I feel them. If I feel anger, anguish, sorrow or whatever, it is okay to experience those. If I don't bottle them up, then I can move on and forgive sooner. My husband also has a problem with pornography (not child porn). He is a fighter and doing very well, but there are still moments of weakness (about 2 to 3 times per year). Our bishop is aware and my husband is very good about coming straight to me and the bishop when he has slipped up. I wish the pornography issue would go away. It can be harder for me than the gay issue. Maybe it will be a lifelong battle and maybe it will be uprooted from our lives. Regardless, we will always have to be cautious and vigilant. Going into marriage aware of both the gay and the pornography issues has helped us to put extra effort into building our relationship. We are truly happy. More than a few times, friends have asked me if we even have any problems in our marriage because we seem so fulfilled and secure. That makes me chuckle inside....if they only knew. But, I do think we dwell less on trivial matters in our quest to maintain a strong marriage. I still sometimes fear the worst because of stories I've read/heard. I am afraid he will one day just leave me and everything he values now. But, then I have to step back and view things as they really are. Our love is real. My husband has no intention of leaving. His efforts are exceptional and real. No good can come from worrying about something that hasn't happened. But, I agree, it can be tiring to be ever watchful. And there's a difference between being ever watchful and ever freaked out about what might happen. There are several anon commentators on here, and I don't want to be confused with others but I guess that's part of being anonymous! :) But, to the 16 year marriage anon, I am grateful for our connection here. It is encouraging to hear your thoughts. My heart goes out to you because I totally understand where you are coming from and it sounds like you are doing great! It does help to be able to talk about this. JF

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  29. Hi, JF, I am the 16 year married anon or MM if you like. I have bottled up emotions over the years too but I must say that I really really let loose after the incidents with the 19 year old. I'm not sure how much it helped me but I must admit that really gave heck to my husband.
    I also worry that he may one day leave me - I have to say I've known a few cases where that has happened - one where the couple had been married for 32 years and one where they had been married 13 years. In the second case, the wife knew about it all along as well and she and she and her husband were really committed and in love. Now he apparently tells her that he 'had never understood' the depth he could love another person until he met his current partner, a man. Ouch.
    I'm starting to think with pornography though that it might give my husband a safer outlet than other options. We do have to work hard to make sure that he still feels attracted to me as there have been times when he simply cannot, he says, feel any attraction but that he still really loves me. Once he slipped up a bit and said that he loved me like a sister but he took that right back and said he had meant to say wife! Ha! We made a joke out of it which helped.
    We also used to pray fervently that he be cured but gave that up and realized that his homosexuality is the burden he will have to carry and me too, I guess. we are very close and he is affectionate but at times i have to admit I wonder what it would be like to be married to a straight man - not that I would ever ever leave my husband! Not for a second! sometimes I dress up you know heels and a nice dress and he tells me how pretty I am but I can tell in some way, almost unconsciously, that it doesn't really mean much to him. Hard to explain. I mean he thinks I am pretty and tells me but without much ''light'' in his eyes. do you know what I mean at all?
    I think that ultimately the incidents with the 19 year old brought us closer, strange as that may sound. he never had a real connection with the boy - just a briefly intensely physical one it sounds like but again, I did not ask for details. he said they were super careful so that's a relief. And he NEVER goes to gay bars anymore whereas he was going at one point (but not drinking, obviously) once or twice a month just to hang out, he said, and I believe him but I was never comfortable with it. I think he just had a few years of slipping up and now it is all okay, really. It really is, I am convinced of it. He misses working with the youth though and I feel badly for him but it is for the best we realize. He does attend a monthly men's bowling club through his work and I'm pretty okay with that although I suspect that a couple of the men have inclinations. He makes sure he is never alone with any of the men, those inclined or not! Good for him, I say.
    And our friends also think we have the perfect marriage which we kinda do! I really believe we do. Our Heavenly Father is so good to us.

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  30. I do know what you mean. Once in a while, I have wondered what it would be like to be married to a straight man - wondered what it would be like to be wanted in that way without the competition of same gender attraction. I'm sure every marriage has challenges and I tend to think of the gay thing as our challenge that we have to live with. I know mixed orientation marriages seem like a novelty to most people, but at the core our situation is quite common. A lot of people trade in something they want or crave for something they consider of more worth (in this case, eternal worth). We waited to get married in the temple because he was going through the repentance process for a relationship he had with another man. Like you, I haven't asked for many details. That part of his life is over. He has sincerely moved on. Much of life for all of us is about overcoming habits, tendencies, and weaknesses in an effort to find greater joy and spiritual happiness. And with the Lord, we can do it and move forward! It is amazing to see the Atonement at work in our lives. I owe everything to the gift of the Atonement. Of course there are moments of weakness and doubt and fear. And there is the feeling of isolation sometimes. I wonder if some of our friends would treat us differently if they knew. It seems like keeping it quiet is the only option because I wouldn't want people to worry about their kids around my husband. He has never had any gravitation toward child sexual abuse. I just would hate to have him judged in that way. He is so good and has very pure intentions. But, then maybe there are those who would benefit from our story. JF

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    1. Yeah, it's so hard to know really. I also consider my husband's gayness to be just a challenge like anything else. But I know he is attracted to me in many ways. oh sure, I sometimes see him staring at men on the street but at least he doesn't look at other women at all! He used to get the yearly firefighters calendar and put it up in our master bathroom - they weren't naked or anything at all, rather it is a fundraiser for burn victims - and we'd tell people it was me who bought it! Because it was for such a good cause, it didn't really bother me. But we stopped that a few years ago.
      And yeah, I don't know why people connect being a gay man with being a child sexual abuser - my husband has NEVER shown an interest in any man under 19, EVER.
      My husband has only ever once told me that he wishes he had the chance to be in a relationship with a man - and we prayed about it afterward and both felt such peace.
      He's so honourable - he says even at the locker room in the gym that he always changes in a private stall!
      To be honest, about five years ago, he told me to get an AIDS test which I did (we are both negative!). He never said why and I never asked but I am very certain that nothing happened. He said that a lot of the men at the gym he goes to are gay and that you can never be too careful.
      Yeah - true about trading in what we crave. I mean I crave my husband deeply and he says he craves me in many ways, so that's good.
      he is so kind and deeply caring. About five years ago good male friend of ours got divorced (very sad) and he didn't want to be alone for several days as he just felt very lonely and confused. My husband spent 24/7 with him for about 4 days until he felt less shaky. Stuff like that.
      We also owe it all to the gift of Atonement! He has been able to overcome so much of it.

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  31. I honor Josh and his wife as courageous. I lived in a marriage with a straight woman for 10 years. We were married in the Salt Lake Temple by Thomas S. Monson. I had relations with men prior to my marriage and even fell in love with one. I gave him up for this marriage and to keep the commandments of God fully believing that by doing so I would be happy and things would work out. My wife eventually left me because she was not happy. I was devastated especially because we had 2 children whom I adored and did not want them hurt. I continued to pursue women. I finally felt so frustrated because I was not attracted to them that I decided to take a second look at how I lived my life. At length I came to the conclusion that I was indeed living my life contrary to my nature which was causing me sadness and disappointment. I began dating men and have been in 5 serious relationships. I am currently single. I tell this story simply to say that I have been somewhat where Josh is. I can't say that I was happy every day as Josh does. I don't know that that is realistic for most of us, though it may be for Josh. I still am not happy every day, but the big, huge, amazing difference for me is that my heart is at peace and my soul feels free as I am more honest and authentic. This may not be the path for everyone to find true joy in life. I do know that living a life that was inauthentic was painful for me. As I read these posts and stories one overwhelming feeling comes to me and that is a feeling of sadness and loneliness and empathy for those men who have chosen to follow the path of heterosexual marriage. Clearly, I am biased, and I am sure I am superimposing my feelings beliefs and experiences on what I read. Even more sad to me is the pain that the lovely wives of these men might be enduring in order to stay in this kind of a relationship - knowing they can never give their husbands what their husbands' true natures long for - intimacy with another man.

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  32. I did want also to mention that as courageous a move as this was, I am seeing fallout with regards to young men who feel increased pressure from their families to follow Josh's example. As much benefit as may be had from this, I fear there is at least equal damaging effects despite Josh's continued reiteration that this isn't necessarily for everyone.

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    1. Yeah, I see it too, the fallout. It is so damaging. Either people on here realize this too but just can't admit it even to themselves, which makes sense because it would feel like a challenge to their whole religious foundation, or they honestly don''t see it. It tend to think the former because of the high level of defensiveness on here.

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  33. Josh and Lolly were wonderful at the symposium! Their sacrifice for the common good is very much appreicated!
    I, too, am part of a mixed orientation marriage. I'm wondering if there wouldn't be a place for us wives to chat. I have seen Straight Spouses, but am not certain that is the proper forum for the kind of discussion going on above.
    I wouldn't trade our marriage for anything. It was well worth the very long wait. Not what I ever imagined when I was young, but so much better than I ever thought marriage would be.

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  34. I agree with the above responder. A safe, positive forum would be helpful for wives to not feel isolated. While, I deeply respect and honor everyone's story, I want to focus on a successful marriage. There are plenty of voices/stories telling us that our mixed orientation relationships will fail. We are very aware of the problems. But, our marriages and experiences are precious to us and we want to keep our relationships and families intact. It would nice to offer support to and glean support from fellow wives. Just some acknowledgement from someone who understands goes a long way.

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  35. How do we start something like this?

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  36. Oh my gosh, the last few posts are just what I needed to hear. As a straight wife, I feel absolutely the same as those of you who are married to husbands with SSA issues. I like forum at North Star, but it seems not a lot of people join into discussions. Perhaps this will change, if more people know about it. http://www.northstarlds.org/messageboard/
    Much love and support to all of you!
    L.S.

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  37. We do need a forum! But i guess until then we can maybe be on here. I'd love to hear more of what you have to say, L.S. To sort of re-cap, my main issues are:

    1. sustaining his being attracted to me

    2. keeping it a secret

    3. feeling lonely even though I am married to a great guy.

    4. Worrying he might 'slip' again (although i really believe he won't!)

    5. His watching porn sometimes and on youtube the TV show Queer sa Folk.

    6. Our decision that he shouldn't work with youth anymore.

    7. My always keeping an eye on things (whether or not I have to!) especially when I see him talking to men.

    8. Having to be tested for certain diseases every once in awhile when he suggests it (not that he has done anything again, it is the toilets at his gym as I said).

    9. A tiny fear that he could one day leave.

    10. Telling people and them expecting our marriage to be as perfect as Josh's. I must say, I wish Josh could explain how he keeps his attraction to men in such good check!

    11. Not going back to Mexico to the all-inclusive that I love because of that one time even though i know fullly well nothing like that will ever ever happen again, I'm just being as always super cautious.

    12. The fact that there are many gay bars in our city (not that he goes anymore!)

    13. And unlucky thirteen! ha. a silly one - the fact that he likes to wear pink shirts!

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    1. Number 13 really cracked me up! Where I'm from we have a saying that only real man wear pink, so I guess you can be safe :)
      I can see that your concerns are almost the same as mine. First three in particular. I have been struggling with the fact that we are not yet ready to share with the world the fact that my husband struggles with the SSA issue. I guess it would be so much easier if I were to share this 'secret' with others, but at the same time I know that we must become stronger in order to fight once it does come out. I have been considering talking with my female leaders about it, but have not decided completely yet. I haven't even told my best friend and it does haunt me from time to time. That is why I find it so great when I am able to see women from mixed orientation marriages up here. It makes me feel more, hm, normal, I guess.
      When he told me he was attracted to men, I was shocked. It wasn't one of those shocks where you go crazy, I just went numb and in the back of my head I just repeated the words to myself- I knew it, I knew it. It's been four years since he told me (we've been married for ten) and he hasn't had problems like porn, acting on his impulses or such, and I can say I am really grateful for that. But we have decided to be honest to each other and always say everything, even if that meant the other might be offended or hurt. Sometimes it’s really hard, because the truth can hurt so much, but I rather hear him telling me about him thinking of things rather than acting on them when I'm not around.
      What helps me a lot is the Church, I must admit that. We're both very active in our small ward, so being busy in the Church helps us stay focused on the important things.
      But I must admit I absolutely agree on your number nine- the fear that I might not be enough for him one day, although we're doing so good right now, is something just eating me all the time. It's like this bug in my ear that keeps bugging me. And I guess this is the scariest thought that I have- him leaving me. And I guess I haven't found the answer to that one yet...
      L.S.

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  38. At the risk of this getting lost... I have a question regarding a statement that was made in the video. I would really rather ask in an email setting or some other less public form of communication. Is there any way to get in contact?

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  39. Hi, LS. MM here again!
    Yes it is very helpful to normalize our situation by sharing it on here, that's for sure. It sure helps me to know that others have struggles too - and not all perfect with no struggles like Josh's marriage! (I mean struggles with his sexuality). I also think it might help others to realize that mixed orientation marriages may not be the easy 'fix' they think it can be. I have to say that women in straight marriages have NO idea what I go through, no matter how much they genuinely want to sympathize. It seems that it is so easy for some to say that this life is but a blip and that eternity with our Heavenly Father is so much more. It is true of course but they are not living in a mixed orientation marriage! The simple fact is, my husband is often not attracted to me and I don't just mean sexually. It is so so much more than just sexually - it is in every way. Don't get me wrong, I know that he loves me, I never ever doubt that. But it's not really in love, if that makes sense. Sometimes it honestly feels like we are more like brother and sister and that can be very lonely indeed. He tries to reassure me that I am enough for him and I reassure him that he is enough for me.
    I can't believe I'm writing this but I sometimes wonder what it would be like if the Church I guess sanctioned homosexuality (crazy I know!) and my husband was allowed to be married to a man. I have to honestly say I think he would be fulfilled. We know a few gay male couples (we live in quite a liberal city) and one of those couples has been together for 24 years if you can believe it! They have children and everything. Another couple have been together 6 years i think and one of them is in a wheelchair because of a car accident two years ago and the also seem quite happy, despite their struggles. They don't know my husband's inclinations and we haven't told them.
    Sigh- I have to say if it really was just about sex it would be easier to deal with. But it's about the whole package type thing. My husband's inclinations are kind of global, if that makes sense.
    And yes, being active in Church can be so helpful. It does help to distract my mind, that's for sure. A few times people have completely unknowingly said hurtful things (once someone said AIDS is God's punishment on gay people and that was hurtful and once someone said that being gay is just like being a murderer) and that is difficult.
    I did once tell a friend- not my best friend but a good friend - and after that I noticed that she used hand sanitizer almost obsessively when she came over to visit me! It was weird. I never felt comfortable with her after that and we finally just drifted apart.
    Again, josh makes it seem so easy! I wish I knew his secret to completely I guess ignoring his attraction to men.

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  40. oh and i'm trying to make peace with the idea that my husband may one day leave me - I hope not of course and I dread it. We are also doing good now - no porn. in 5 months, no Queer as Folk and he hasn't asked me to be tested in almost aa year! I stay vigilant and we limit his time on the computer and he doesn't go online at night unless I am there. Heck, he doesn't even hug his male friends anymore wheereas before that was becomming a bit of an issue - lots of long hugs and id get embarassed.

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  41. Dear MM!
    I've been wondering the last few days how come your husband asks you every once in a while to get tested for things- is he also in relationships with men? Or is this something from his past that keeps hunting him? I wish I could make you feel better, but the only useful advice I could give you is to try to communicate sincerely. Both of you. That helped us a lot. Once my husband figured out he can tell me all things, it made him feel much better and he started to see me as an ally. Much love!

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  42. Oh hi - thanks for the question. Regarding the testing - as I say, it's those darned shared toilets/showers at the gym where lots of gay men also go. And i only had to do a course of antibiotics just the once and that was over a year ago. Those toilets are germ magnets it seems! My husband is completely faithful now which is great.He's like super faithful! ha.
    And my husband shares most everything with me as well - sometimes a bit too much I have to say, ha. As I say, we are doing so good now. He does have a second cell phone that he thinks I don't know about but I'm not worried - i'm sure it is work related!

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    1. How many stranger and stranger situations would I have to write before you realized that this is not a true story?

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  43. This is MM. that was not me at 8:03 pm. this is a true story, and I don't think it is strange at all! I bet millions- if not billions - of women are married to gay men because it is what our Heavenly Father wants. One course of antibiotics in the last 3 years and just one AIDS scare is not enough to keep me from living the life our Heavenly Father wants me to live! My husband loves me more than he loves other men, I know he does!!! Oh sure, he struggles but we talk abbout it and we lay down rules and we pray. We are vigilent as you have to be when your husband is wired to love other men. We are traning him to love me more and more and it is working. The sacrifice of my deep happiness is worth it when i think about eternity. It really is. i mean i'm happy to a point of course just not deep down inside.

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