Saturday, March 2, 2013

Challenges of Being Married to a Gay Man -- A Post By Lolly (FFAQ VI)


Hey guys,

First off, I have to tell you that I had been writing this post for hours when Tessa woke up from her nap. I went upstairs to get her and while I was gone, Viva turned my computer off and I lost all of my work! I think there may be flames coming out of my ears right now! So, I will take a deep breath and write it all again. I’m telling myself it will be better the second time, right? UGH!

I feel nervous about writing this post. I think one of the reasons why I’ve been having such a hard time is because my answers will reveal a lot about myself. It reveals my biases, my insecurities and weaknesses. But, I figure, what the heck, let’s go ahead and do it.

So, the question I’m addressing is from reader Nicole (who won by a landslide!). Her question:

I would like to know some of the things Lolly struggles with as the wife of a gay man. :)

I hope you don’t mind if I rephrase this question in the following way: “What are the challenges of being married to Josh Weed because he’s gay?”

Let’s just hop right into the part of this question that I get asked the most, shall we? That is, of course, about our sex life. Josh and I have a very fulfilling sex life, but we both definitely gave something up. Our relationship didn’t start out with intense lust or passion. Nor has Josh ever been infatuated with me in the traditional sense. Now, I’m the kind of girl that always liked it when guys were infatuated with me, so the fact that my husband has never felt those feelings for me is sad at times.

The challenge, for me, is to focus on all of the amazing things we do have instead of the things we don’t have. I recently found this article written by Shannon Ethridge. I really loved her words because it completely validated the intimacy that Josh and I share.

“I suggest that sexual intensity…is simply not the same as intimacy. If it were, then prostitutes and porn stars would be the most emotionally and relationally fulfilled people on the planet. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

Does the entangling of arms and legs and the exchange of bodily fluids scratch the human itch for intimate connection? Or is sex just the closest thing we can imagine to what we’re really craving: a deeper spiritual and emotional connection, both with our Creator and with His creation?

…when we selfishly strive for orgasm through pornography, masturbation or illicit sexual encounters rather than cultivating sexual ecstasy with our marriage partner, sexual ecstasy is only “half-baked.” Love and relational intimacy are the “yeast” that allows our sexual ecstasy to rise to its highest level.

…If deep and spiritual intimacy is what humans seek, then relational or sexual intensity can never satisfy our deepest longings or heal our oldest wounds… deep wounds will be healed by sacrificial love (of which Christ is the incarnate example) and intimate relationship (both human and divine). Soul-deep intimacy is what we seek, and it’s ultimately found in the God who created human sexuality.”

That’s beautiful, isn’t it? Isn’t that really what all women want? Don’t we want soul-deep intimacy? I can honestly say I have that with Josh, so who cares if he has never looked at me the way the creeper down the street has? I just have to keep that in mind sometimes.

Another intimacy challenge I have is one that I feel most women can relate to, no matter who you’re married to. For me, a lot of the sexual process takes place inside my head. The things that I’m thinking while I load the dishwasher can have an impact on our sex that night. So, for me, I have to pay particular attention to the things that I tell myself. I’ve gotten a lot better at it over the years. For instance, I don’t say things like, “I’m not what Josh wants” or “He’s not attracted to my body” or “He’d rather have something else.”

The truth is he chose me and so I really am what he ultimately wants and loves. Am I the perfect embodiment of his sexual fantasies? Uh, no. I am so far from it. On the flipside, is he the perfect embodiment of my sexual fantasies? Uh, no. He’s not even black! (Just look up Boris Kodjoe, ladies, and you’ll see what I’m saying.) The truth is, everyone must choose their ideal lover as a packaged set of features. Rarely does someone find their soul mate housed in their sexual ideal.

I have been blessed with good self-esteem, so I really try and harness that in the bedroom. I don’t want to sound conceited, but I think I’m a beautiful person. Although I have been struggling to lose 20 pounds since I had Tessa, I can still feel sexy. What I actively do is focus on my positive thoughts and feelings, especially when we’re being intimate. Nothing will kill my enjoyment more than my own critical observation of fat rolls. Instead I might choose to wear something that makes me feel beautiful. I might focus on how my hair looks amazing that day. I might pay particular attention to his enjoyment. Or I may choose to surrender myself to him completely, trusting in his love for me. No matter what, there is no room for criticism or negativity in my head while we’re being intimate. 

The last challenge that I would say I have with Josh’s sexual orientation is probably the hardest one for me. Josh is my eternal love. I want to be his everything. I want to fulfill his every desire, but I can’t. There are things he wants and things he needs that I can’t give him. That is very hard for me. We have gone through some difficult times. Times where both of our hearts have been broken and it was no one’s fault. We have had to process through some very confusing and emotional things together. These things almost always had to do with attachment issues that were very confusing and we had no one to talk to and no guidebook or standard to reference. All we had was each other. The ironic thing was, at times, our true love for each other made it that much harder, because it didn’t change the hard things that were happening. But it has allowed us to connect through intensely honest and intimate verbal communication and figure things out, even when it is hard.

In the end, we work through it all. We sometimes stay up until four in the morning trying to figure things out. Josh knows he can tell me anything and that what he shares with me will be kept safe. I know that I can always trust him. We know that we can both be very real, even if it hurts, because hiding feelings will only result in pain. We have both shared things that were very hard for us to process, but we did it with love and respect and a knowledge that we would always be there for each other. We’ve often said that we could talk our way out of any problem and I truly believe that. We will always be there for each other. And the funny thing is, sometimes the darkest most difficult moments have yielded breakthroughs that have helped us to be closer than we’ve ever been. That’s the way life works sometimes, I think.


And so, I can tell you with all my heart that, even with our challenges, Josh Weed is definitely worth it. Our love is amazing. Yes, we sacrifice for each other, but isn’t that what true love is all about? Loving someone more than you love yourself? Letting go of self-interest and being all you can be for the person you choose? In my opinion, and in our experience, it is the “sacrificial love”—that sweet acceptance of a whole person, flaws and foibles and large deficits included right along with their amazing talents and attributes, and the giving up of desired things in favor of being with the one we choose to love—that makes our relationship so beautiful and brings us closer to each other, and closer to God himself. I wouldn’t trade it--or him-- for anything. 

80 comments:

  1. Laurel, I love your openess and ability to be vulnerable...that makes you my heroine for today. :)

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  3. Josh said something at Circling the Wagons this year that I'd never considered before about mixed-orientation marriages. In my mind, a mixed-orientation marriage would be a consolation prize, a selection of the choicest tier-two sexual partner. But when the question was posed about church policy changing in ten years, what then, Josh replied, "I didn't choose Lolly out of all women, I chose her out of all people," continuing that your marriage wasn't a consolation prize, it was taking a holistic view of the advantages and challenges of marrying you and then deciding that it was worth the sacrifice, as you said.

    That was a beautiful thought, as was this post. Thanks for providing a fuller picture of what it means to be married.

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    1. Beautifully said!! I love this.

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    2. So so true:-). Thanks for adding that GMP. And Lolly, this was a really wonderful and beautifully honest post. I really think there is something very sexy about complete honesty that you 2 obviously have. The quote on deep soul intimacy was great! And you know that link of Boris? He looks nothing like Lionel Richie. Just sayin'. It goes with your point very well that it's so hard to be pleased on ALL levels of IDEAL. :-). Thank you for being so open.

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    3. I have the same kind of marriage as Lolly and Josh and my husband has said the same thing. We both chose each other above any other PERSON, no matter their gender, because we love each other. That is what Love is, it is just same orientation marriages don't have to think it through like that.

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  4. You sum it up so well when you say, "The truth is, everyone must choose their ideal lover as a packaged set of features. Rarely does someone find their soul mate housed in their sexual ideal." The funny thing is, if you were to look at your sexual ideal and find yourself in an intimate setting with that person, do you think that it would be "sexual ecstasy"? Doubtful- two people who don't know each others' souls are much less likely to have the intimate connection that we feel with our spouses. Very well written- it applies to all women, not just those in mixed-orientation marriages.

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  5. This made my cry. Thank you, Lolly!

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  6. That's just great, now Josh will be self-conscious about not being black enough!

    Thanks for this, Lolly. Your candor is inspiring.

    -Michael C

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  7. Thank you for a beautiful post. I think that many, if not all of us, have to adjust to not having everything we might want in a marriage partner. I've been married over 30 years and my husband and I recently realized that if he is not Asperger's (on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum) he is right next door. All those years of not being able to discuss things, especially feelings, and at last we understand why. I'm glad that somewhere along the way I learned what you learned--to focus on what I DO have.

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  8. That was beautiful. Thanks for opening yourself up and sharing something so important to you. *hug*

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  9. Holy Schhhmoly that was so beautiful! Especially that last paragraph! I feel like that last paragraph could be applied to any and every marriage. My husband isn't gay, but we definitely have our own struggles. We have have our own flaws and foibles, but we love each other with our whole beings. He doesn't have everything on my 'perfect husband' list that I made when I was 14, but he has all the important things. Just like I don't have everything on his 'perfect wife' list, but I have all the important things. We accept each other with our whole hearts, and we CHOOSE to love each other unconditionally. You are inspiring Lolly. I think I will print that last paragraph and put it on my mirror. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so open and vulnerable and honest. You are making the world a better place.

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  10. I think a key point is that you have such good self-esteem that you are able to deal with Josh's lack of attraction for you. With this wave of gay young men marrying women, I hope that those women also have such good self esteem to be able to 'override' their husband's lack of attraction for them.
    True intimacy can be a combination of the type of sex you talk about and the more 'animalistic' part of it. I think your writing makes clear that for women choosing to marry gay men they should go in completely understanding that their husbands will never be attracted to them as straight men would be and that while they may hope that that will magically change, it won't. So their sense of self needs to be rock solid. And again, they need to understand that an important part of sexuality - natural attraction - will always be missing. God created sex between a married couple to be enjoyed in all of its aspects and there is no shame in enjoying the more 'raw' parts of it.
    Your honesty and openness will help young women who are considering marrying gay men -it will help them to see all sides of it.

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    1. Gosh, Anonymous, I think your response here is really insensitive, and my suspicion is you have an agenda here, like you are trying to make Lolly feel bad or plant seeds of doubt. It is kind of funny, because on most of the gay sites where they have talked about Josh's marriage, they tear him apart for being in denial about being bisexual! I have not gotten the impression from anything Josh has written that he is not attracted to Lolly, but it is something deeper and more authentic than just animal appetites. Let's face it -- we have all had people in the past who we just had insatiable sexual attraction to, but those are not the people we usually end up marrying. Statistics show,too, that those whose marriages are happiest are the people who married someone they were moderately attracted to.

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    2. Anon @ 10:27,
      I think you are grossly oversimplifying relationaships, which are exactly not that. They are complex, and each different, and to put every MOR in the same boat seems almost immature.
      Also, to directly address Lolly (while commenting Anonymously might I add), and tell her things about HER marriage, things you have not cared to put sensitively at all, makes you comes across as immature.
      "True intimacy" is not black and white, I think O_o So in the future, please refrain from telling someone YOUR definition of it, while then proceeding to add that they will never have it.

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    3. Actually I think that anon @ 10:27 has a valid point. It didn't come across to me as being 'insensitive' and 'having an agenda'. I've certainly read posts on here that do have such a feel but this one doesn't to me.

      Lolly and Josh do make an MOR sound relatively easy, but they have personality traits that are helping make this marriage work so well. I see Anon as just pointing out that when people consider marrying into MOR's they need to go in 'eyes wide open'. I see Anon as just reiterating character traits that Lolly has just described and wording them as a caution to others. That does not sound judgmental to me. That sounds like wisdom.

      If I were considering marrying an ssa spouse, or even more important if I had a child who was considering this, I would think that having an honest reflection on the special challenges of an MOR would be extremely appropriate. Anon is not saying that MOR's are wrong, at least that is not how I read the post. I just read that one shouldn't sugar coat the fact that these potential challenges are extremely real and need to be addressed before the vows are spoken.

      I think that if more people considered and prepared for a prospective marriage's challenges before jumping into it, that there would be far fewer divorces. This doesn't apply only to MOR's but to any 'known potential challenges' that are in play in a potential marriage. This includes, for example, marriage to a military veteran with PTSD. (Not that I am saying that homosexual attraction is mental illness). If you are considering marrying a veteran who has PTSD you need to understand what kind of special challenges that might present, and make sure that you are up to those challenges. Once again this shouldn't be stereotyped and every marriage is unique, but challenges are real.

      I think that it shows a great deal of maturity to take a strong look at whether you are capable of dealing with challenges of a potential marriage before you 'tie the knot'. It also causes significantly less pain if you realize that maybe this isn't the best fit BEFORE you marry then realizing it AFTER you have children with someone that you can't stay happily married to.

      And FYI I am in no way 'anti-military'. My best friend is a soldier/veteran with PTSD. My ex-husband is also a veteran with PTSD. Marriages to military veterans can be wonderful, just like MOR's can be wonderful, but there are very unique potential challenges involved. To make a successful marriage both spouses need to be mature enough (and have the appropriate character traits) to deal with those challenges and make a beautiful marriage (either inspite of, or perhaps even because of those challenges).

      Upon reflection one of my best friends mentioned something similar when I was deciding to marry my ex. It was in 2004 and military deployments were extremely common. She asked me if I was ready to marry a soldier and then send him to war. She told me flat out and in my face "If you cannot handle having your husband deployed to a war zone for months to a year or more at a time DO NOT MARRY A SOLDIER!" (Not fair to him, not fair to you, not fair to any children that you might have.) That was a fantastic point and I would say that it would be appropriate to say that "If you cannot handle the fact that your husband will be sexually attracted to men but not necessarily to you DO NOT MARRY A GAY MAN!" I think that she had a valid point and I think that Anon 10:27 does as well.

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    4. I would not say this is insensitive. I would say it is a very logical conclusion that is only trying to point out what might seem a harsh reality to those who may not have had the perspective changing experience of being open to the point of "raw" with and about the person that they are inseparably connected to. From some one who has had the kinds of conversations it takes to accept that I will never be what my husband physically longs for there are times where positive thought and the blessing of strong self esteem, the same that Lolly talks about, are all that can get me through the day. There are no books on this, if there were I would most likely include something along these lines as a preface to any one asking, should I marry the man I love who is gay?

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  11. Thank you for this post! You may not have thought of this, but your post also helps those of us who don't have perfectly fulfilling marriages to heterosexual men. You're right that no one person can be your everything, and there are obstacles to overcome in every marriage. God is our ultimate everything, and I'm so proud of you & Josh for living that out! I do have one question or concern or whatever... I ask in gentleness: Why do you and Josh continue to identify Josh as a "gay" man? If you believe God created us man and woman, to unite together, than God didn't create Josh as a "gay" man. Or don't you see it this way? I am truly interested and not at all yelling or judging. Thanks!

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    1. You know how the man who's trying hard to be a good husband makes an effort to not dwell on thoughts of the beautiful women he comes in contact with (whether IRL or in media)? He's making a conscious effort to be faithful to his wife. I assume Josh is the same (or at least very similar--he IS a guy), except he makes an effort to not think about the handsome men he sees.

      And I don't believe that God made any of us. He provided the blueprints, but the actual building happened inside of a frail, imperfect human. There's plenty of room for the genetics/nature explanation of homosexual orientation in a faithful paradigm.

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    2. So true! Lolly's struggles easily translate to many relationships.

      As for the second part of your comment, I'd like lend my perspective. Not personally knowing either Josh or Lolly (or even sharing their belief in God), I cannot claim to speak for them.

      Whether or not it was God who made me gay, I am. I am not gay because of the things I do. I am not gay because of the choices I've made. I am not gay because of how my parents raised me. Simply put, I am gay because I am gay. If gay people could stop being gay by marrying a person of the opposite sex, we wouldn't be having this conversation. The idea that God would never make a gay person is based on knowledge of God's will that we cannot possess. It is, in my opinion, less important to concentrate on the "why" than it is to focus on the "what then."

      love the question :)
      -Michael C

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    3. I think it is just a question of language, here. The word describes feelings, the word itself is not a commentary on how those feelings do or do not fit into God's Will.

      He could say "gay" or he could say "feels-sexual-desires-in-response-to-the-sight-of-men's-bodies-but-not-in-response-to-the-sight-of-women's-bodies." Gay is shorter and easier.

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    4. We men who fancy men or women who are attracted to women define ourselves as "gay" because of those feelings, which are separate from our life choices and actions. That "identity" ignores the question of how we came to be gay--it simply acknowledges the fact that we are attracted to our own gender.

      I believe that I am gay because I was meant to work through this as part of my journey in life. I wouldn't go so far as to say "God made me gay", but I have a testimony that it is a part of His plan for me to have that challenge.

      The Lord has stated that he intentionally created man to be weak and subject to all kinds of temptations and struggles. This is the great and terrible part of His plan that was activated by the fall of Adam. By giving men weaknesses, He has given us a divine gift. Because of our weakness, we need divine help, and when we humbly ask for that help, we are made strong through the grace of Christ. The words of a popular hymn speak particularly to this concept: "I need thee every hour, stay thou nearby. Temptations lose their power when thou art nigh." (LDS Hymns, #98)

      The Savior's atonement does more than redeem us from our sins. It also enables us to become strong in our weakness. This is because of the grace of Christ, which cannot be earned, but must be sought for.

      I am so grateful for God's plan for me, and that includes gratitude for the challenge of being gay. Feeling the help that I get from a Higher Power as I work through this challenge has helped me to feel a great love for the Savior and my fellow brothers and sisters. I know that He cares for us so very much, and I love Him for that.

      Some study helps include Ether 12:27, 2 Corinthians 12, and an article by Carolyn Rasmus, "The Enabling Power of the Atonement", in the March 2013 issue of the Ensign (page 19).

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  12. That.was.amazing. Thank you. :)

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  13. I love this post! I agree with all of it.

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  14. Wow. That's so helpful to me with my own personal relationship. Its funny how when a person is struggling and someone else says what they need to hear. My relationship is nothing like yours but your perspective is what I needed to hear!!! Your s strong woman to.keep working on problem solving when others would have thrown in the towel and say "I'm done" I guess if u 2 can make it then I can try to male it work too

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  15. "The truth is he chose me and so I really am what he ultimately wants and loves."
    This is what I think I need to remind myself. Just like everyone else. I have struggles and sometimes it seems like the only solution to fighting and frustrations is to walk away. But trying to make it work is worth it when I try to remember: " The truth is he chose me and so I really am what he ultimately wants and loves."

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  16. Thank you, Lolly! This was beautiful and extremely well written. I loved the quote you shared! It is so true. Intimacy is about so much more than the physical act of sex! Also, I loved the comment that someone posted about Josh choosing you out of all people. So sweet!

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  17. So beautiful! The "Uh, no. He's not even black!" part made me laugh :D Lolly your openness and beautiful, almost-elegant bluntness (does that make sense?) is so refreshing and joyful. "Talking our way THROUGH every problem and TO solution" has been the policy in my family too for as long as I can remember, and helped us through so many difficult times. I think what's most evident to anyone who reads this, is that both Lolly and Josh fell head over heels for eachother's personality, and that that love has only endured and grown.

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  18. First off, I have to say that I will always pick a good looking black man over a good looking white man. Who wouldn't?
    But more importantly, thank you so much for opening up and sharing this! I am just a single girl and I have loved following Josh's blog because I love learning from the relationship y'all have. Too much we fantasize about how every little detail in our relationships will be perfect, but I love even more knowing that everything can be real. I hope to someday love and be loved like you and Josh love. I can never thank you both enough for sharing all of what you have shared and for opening my heart and my understanding to "all kinds of real!"

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  19. I really love this post Lolly! There's so much you put out there for everyone to see and it's very courageous. You are an inspiration and have strengthened my sense of self. Lots of love to your family.

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  20. Thank you Lolly for being so open and honest and such a truly beautiful person.

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  21. Thank you so much for your answer lolly! :)

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  22. Just beautiful... thank you for sharing and trusting us enough to bare yourself to us.

    Truth is, this post resonated within me even though I am married to a heterosexual man. We consciously chose each other, knowing full well mostly everything there is to know about each other. We have respect for one another and God is definitely 1/3 of our relationship and I think that makes a difference. We both have definitely made compromises regarding our ideal partner in a few areas... but the bottom line is that we chose to be together and we honor that choice.

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  23. simply...wow. this post is amazing!

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  24. this was so gorgeous. thank you lolly.

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  25. I love this. Thank you.

    -Grey

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  26. Beautifully put. Thanks for sharing. In many ways I really envy the two of you.

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  27. Lolly, thank you for revealing your inner feelings in hopes of helping others. I have been married to my "soulmate" for over 30 years, yet we struggle with passion, intimacy, and other issues, as do most of our straight friends. My husband loves and respects me, but I wouldn't say that he is infatuated with me. Yet we are still best friends, and have emotional intimacy off the charts! When the passion fades, and it eventually will, what is most important is your spiritual and intellectual connection. And after all of these years we can honestly say that we hate to be away from each other! What is important, is that you and Josh have made your relationship a priority! Couples who have great sex but little else in common will not survive the long haul.

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  28. Josh, you totally married up.

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  29. Thank you for this post, it has helped me in more ways than you can know.

    I look to The Weed for a lot of guidance and learning, especially in the last few months. My wife of nearly 10 years told me she is SSA last November. Your "coming out" post was the catalyst for her to reconcile her feelings over the last 20 years. Some days and weeks are as easy as can be like nothing has ever or will ever change. Other days and weeks are among the most challenging I have ever experienced because I/we don't know what to expect from each other or what the next steps are to ensure our relationship stays strong.

    I also feel that I can trust what Josh and Lolly say here because of how open and vulnerable you make yourselves. It also helps that I know part of Josh's family from high school and Institute.

    Thank you again Josh and Lolly for your willingness to share this part of your lives with the world. Your perspectives on not only mixed orientation marriage, but also raising a family in today's society has a very strong impact on me and my family.

    -J

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  30. Lolly I have been reading here for a long, long time, but I have never posted before. I won't get into my life, but I just wanted to say that everything you wrote here was exactly what I needed to hear at this moment in my journey. Thank you for being open and honest.

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  31. Loved this, of course. And I love how applicable this is too all relationships and marriages. I remember a conversation we all had years ago about how some of the things that I find as a weakness, or annoyance in my husband are tied to some of the things that make him so perfect for me. (Ex: being soooo laid back that I get anxiety that things will never get done translates into being so laid back that he can go with the flow anytime I am falling apart and need him to be understanding.) Not that I think that being Gay is what attracted you to Josh- but it is part of who he is and allows him to be the perfect guy for you... however un-black he may be. ;)

    love you and this post!

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    1. I love that concept! ^ Thank you! Made me think, and realize how true it is. I needed to hear someone put it eloquently. :)

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  32. What a great post! My husband has OCD and Panic disorder and I have recently noticed that the more I sacrifice to help him the more I love him. I loved the last paragraph.
    "Yes, we sacrifice for each other, but isn’t that what true love is all about? Loving someone more than you love yourself? Letting go of self-interest and being all you can be for the person you choose? In my opinion, and in our experience, it is the “sacrificial love”—that sweet acceptance of a whole person, flaws and foibles and large deficits included right along with their amazing talents and attributes, and the giving up of desired things in favor of being with the one we choose to love—that makes our relationship so beautiful and brings us closer to each other, and closer to God himself."

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  33. This post has inspired some beautiful comments!

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  34. Wow. This post is amazing. I have to admit I love it when you and Josh talk about each other because you can just feel the love that you have for each other. Thanks for sharing this, it helps me with my relationship and struggles and helps me find better ways how to communicate with my husband.

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  35. This is SO SO GOOD. Just... beyond good. And amazingly enough gives wonderful insight and guidance into marriage regarding completely different issues. It's amazing how much it all boils down to unconditional love, right?

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  36. beautiful...it's obvious that you & josh share a love that most heterosexual couples aren't even able to experience. thank you for being great examples of true and unconditional love! oh yeah, and you're an awesome writer too - when are you gonna start up your own blog?

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    1. Thank you, Lolly, for these beautiful thoughts and wonderful insights. You are such a sweet and authentic person, and I truly appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in sharing this. I can totally relate to all that you have said, and I am so happy that you included the article from Shannon Ethridge too.

      As another woman married to a 'gay' man (30+ years), and, after having been through a whole lot of confusion, heartache, and pain, we have ultimately come to such an amazing and wonderful place that seems to be very similar to what you are expressing here about you and Josh.

      I understand the question that the readers want to know about the 'challenges' of being married to a gay man, and, certainly there are some that are exclusive and unique as compared to the 'average' heterosexual marriage. I am glad you have been honest about this, while still making it clear that probably 'most' of the challenges are the same and/or quite similar to those of most marriages, and the vast array of challenges that 'we all' face just as human beings, with different personalities, issues, desires, interests, etc.

      I truly do feel a 'kinship' with you girl - and it's kind of neat, I think, that those of us individuals in mixed orientation marriages do have a real special bond of truly understanding some of the unique challenges we, as couples, face. And it's also cool that we understand the reality, that our marriages are probably really not that much different from 'regular' couples (whatever that means - lol). In a lot of ways, we're just muddling through, workin it out, and our marriages are not ALL ABOUT THE GAY - EVERYDAY. ;) lol

      Anyway, I loved this post Lolly - I think you should definitely do more writing, and from all these nice comments, it appears I'm not alone.

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  38. so much to say!!
    1. lolly i love you. can you write on this blog more often? amen.
    2. lolly i doubt your first edition was better, though i understand it sucks to re-write things.
    3. i feel like you seriously wrote about my marriage- and i am not married to a gay man. i feel like you spoke for all women everywhere who marry someone they love and figure out that life and marriage is hard and made better through sacrifice- the ultimate love.
    4. you are beautiful! you keep on thinkin' it! its true!
    5. thank you so much for answering this question and for doing it in such a classy-yet open- LOLLY ROCKS way.
    6. may the Lord let us meet one day so i can hug you. amen.

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  39. Thank you! Being in the same kind of marriage as you and dealing with many confusing and heart twisting situations, I needed to hear this. To have it put in such a beautiful way helps me realize how I can be better at trusting my husband as well as myself. You definitely should write more often.

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  40. I'm sure you're making the best of the marriage you have but I can't help but feel sorry for you. You're a young, attractive woman who does not have a husband who's physically attracted to you & you have to live with that knowledge for all of your married life. One day you may wake up and find yourself wondering why did you sacrifice all your youth on a man who could never truly love you as a husband should. When I read what you wrote & what your husband wrote, what I see is a couple that's trying very, very hard to make their marriage work. Relationships are work but when it's this hard, when you have to twist yourself in a pretzel to make it fit, when you have to actually squash your true attractions then it's trying to tell you something. What your husband has to deal with is not the same as a husband squelching a momentary attraction he might feel for some passing female. That man can go home & still be attracted to his wife. He will never be able to give you that. One day you may wake up to what you're sacrificing and what you've asked your husband to sacrifice.

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    1. O_o Aye. That ^ comment must have been difficult to read for Josh and Lolly, and even more difficult to publish.
      I think what Josh and Lolly have is something different though, I do. I wouldn't be so hopeful if it were 2 different people in the MOR. They genuinely are IN love, as opposed to just loving. You can tell.
      But yes, I'm sure it's really difficult too.

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    2. I disagree. When they look at their beautiful children, that alone makes it worth it. Life isn't about what's easy. In fact, EASY is almost never the BEST way. I comment Lolly & Josh!

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    3. Anonymous, you did not read this post or any previous post apparently. They know this. They've gone in knowing this. "Wake up"? Do you really think that you could point out one thing to them that hasn't come up? They've been married 11 YEARS. I am sure this hasn't been a cake walk. They may have twisted themselves in to a pretzel but it's the way their love is shaped. I'd rather be able to bend and make it work than stay rigid and snap under the pressure.

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    4. Anon @ 6:48 I would like to respond to you as if you talking about my marriage because you are. If I am twisting in to a pretzel it is because I was always intended to be a pretzel, or because I would have been one if I had married another man. It is my nature to accept those around me for who they are and if I "bend" to love them well then I am a very bendy person. I chose the husband I did because I knew all the facts and loved him any way in fact I had been literally prepared to marry him. Also I know by divine revelation that this choice although harder then what most other women choose, was right for me. I don't know about Lolly and Josh, but for me and my husband our love is like gravity. It only harms us when we fight it, or try to deny it. We did not enter into this marriage ignorant, or even lightly thinking simple puppy love would conquer all. No we knew that it would take a great, even world changing, mature love to have the kind of marriage we wanted. I don't regret being the "pretzel" I am today, ever. I am better because of the man I chose. My guess is Lolly is too.

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    5. Anon @ 6:48 I would like to respond to you as if you talking about my marriage because you are. If I am twisting in to a pretzel it is because I was always intended to be a pretzel, or because I would have been one if I had married another man. It is my nature to accept those around me for who they are and if I "bend" to love them well then I am a very bendy person. I chose the husband I did because I knew all the facts and loved him any way in fact I had been literally prepared to marry him. Also I know by divine revelation that this choice although harder then what most other women choose, was right for me. I don't know about Lolly and Josh, but for me and my husband our love is like gravity. It only harms us when we fight it, or try to deny it. We did not enter into this marriage ignorant, or even lightly thinking simple puppy love would conquer all. No we knew that it would take a great, even world changing, mature love to have the kind of marriage we wanted. I don't regret being the "pretzel" I am today, ever. I am better because of the man I chose. My guess is Lolly is too.

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  41. Lolly, you and Josh are a wonderful example to me. And my marriage is heterosexual. Thank you.

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  42. You challenge me to real love and not lust. Wow, so glad to find your page. What a fine marriage you have to each other and especially your children! Thank you!

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  43. Lolly, I could pretty much put ditto next to everything that you wrote. And I am so glad that you shared that quote! I can't wait to share it with others. Thanks for your great example. I love that there are others out there willing to share about their sex life in a positive, sacred way, especially in our "unusual" circumstances. Well done, friend!

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  44. Whenever I get the chance, I tell friends about this blog. :)

    Thank you so much for explaining something that everyone -- no matter their marriage "type" -- can learn from. You are a beautiful writer!

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  45. I love reading your blog when you talk about marriage, because I think everyone can learn from your great example. I have felt for the longest time that love is soooo much more than physical attraction. Everyone puts such emphasis on looks and physique, but honestly... Very few of us actually look like Hugh Jackman or Shakira. While I joked about it in high school, would I really want Keith Urban as a husband? Nope. I'm sure he's a great guy, but we don't have the same goals, ideals, belief system, etc. I chose my husband because he's kind, gentle, hard-working, happy... I did (and do) find him attractive, but it's far from his most important trait. I'm glad that we get to choose a spouse from dating, conversation, participating in activities together, etc. and not just picking out a picture from a stack of men that I think are good-looking. I think our happy intimate relationship is the way it is because we care for each other. I love what you said about sacrifice.

    Is it so shocking to have a marriage that works, even in the absence of physical attraction? Maybe it's less important than everyone thinks. Maybe, it is all about "loving someone more than you love yourself."

    Thank you for inspiring me to be better. :)

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  46. I wanted to take a minute and thank both Josh and Lolly for being so open. I also wanted to thank you guys for being a voice for the rest of us. In our home the tables are turned I am in Josh's shoes and my husband is in Lolly's. It is a challenge and we work through things day by day just as you do. Sometimes I think it is harder for us because of previous relationships that did not work out. I was married previously and my ex-husband turned violent when he became frustrated with our situation. I can not stress the importance of picking the right spouse... I am lucky that I have him now and I appreciate every word Lolly said because It has helped me and my husband more than I can ever express. Thank you!

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  47. Thank you Lolly for sharing this. I too am gay and choose to stay active in the church. I plan on finding a wife, but I wonder what it will be like for her. I know it will be hard for me to fill all of her needs as well, but it is nice to know that there is someone like you out there whose love is more than just physical, but a deeper more spiritual love. Thank you again for sharing. Both of you guys are awesome!

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  48. Hi I never leave comments for anything but your post just touched me so much. I am not married to a gay man but to someone I suspect is asexual and slightly autistic. He is such a great man. So kind, compassionate, handsome, great father and strong. Yet he has absolutely no sexual desire for me. He will sleep with me if I am in the mood but it is always for my benefit. I cry so much over not being desired sexually. On top of that he cannot tell me why he chose me or one good thing he likes about me (maybe he is slightly autistic) but the weird thing is he treats me so well and tells me I can't say why I love you but I just do. Then he goes on "If i had a reason my love could be gone one day if that reason was no longer present" "My love for you is permanent". I feel like wow he can't say one thing he likes about me. I sometimes feel like my marriage is a fake one. I love the line "so what if he does not look at me like the creep down the street" Thank you thank you so much for sharing you don't how much better you made me feel!

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  49. Wow - I am very touched by this because when you really think about it, what he does say is way better than what he doesn't. "If i had a reason my love could be gone one day if that reason was no longer present" "My love for you is permanent". That is so beautiful.

    When you think about all the reasons a man could give to his wife for 'why', your smile, your personality, your hair, your eyes, your sense of humor, etc. - I can't think of anything that couldn't somehow, someway, someday be taken away or lost or changed. So, his answer to "why do you love me?" is probably the best answer I have ever heard.

    Another reminder that 'sex' is only part of a relationship. (Mrs. IDM)

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  50. I am with my best friend in the entire world and have been for 7 months. He is gay and this is the first time i have ever done research on other relationships like ours. He has never been in a long term relationship before so everything is new for him. He has been openly gay outside of his family for a few years. We have only been intimate once and he wants an emotional relationship to me but an open sexual relationship. I am wondering if you and Josh have ever had that discussion? We dream of kids and share everything (he takes such good care of me) but one girl told me I was selfish for taking away his opportunity to be truely happy and I am afraid that after this investment of my time he may realize that this is true and i will just be alone. Insight here?

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  51. "I might pay particular attention to his enjoyment. Or I may choose to surrender myself to him completely, trusting in his love for me."

    I recently saw the show about your relationship. I have put your quote from above in this comment, because I am curious as to what the above means. I am a total believer that love and sex are two different expressions, with love being the highest expression, because it is more unconditional than sexual expression.

    However, because your husband is gay, it is normal for people to have sexual questions, because love is not gay or straight, but sex is.

    So when you expressed that you "pay attention to his enjoyment" or "surrender to him," does that mean that your sexual activities are designed to please him as a gay man (fellatio and anal sex)? The question here is less about the sex, but that you perform these sexual acts to keep him satisfied in the same manner as if he was with a gay man? If so, how do you deal with performing sexual acts that you do not like or do not have an inclination to like in order to accommodate your husband and how is that different than his having sex with a gay man (if he closes his eyes)?

    I don't mean to be intrusive, but there are more people than you know that have situations where a heterosexual person and a homosexual person really love each, but are not sexually attracted to each other. I do believe both of you are brave, and I do believe both of you are truly in love.

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    1. Anonymous - Mr. IDM and I just read this comment, and it totally caused us to go ~~ WOW!~~~ twice.
      Double WOW! :D

      First, we were so impressed and literally thrilled with your statement, "Love is not gay or straight, but sex is". Oh my goodness ~~~ maybe that has been said before, be we have not heard it, and IT IS PERFECT (when heard and understood in the way that 'we' heard it), and we said to each other, "WOW! this person really gets it" - but then..........

      you continued your comments, and we were like "WHAT?!? - WOW!!! - this person is sooooo confused, and totally DOES NOT get it" (at least for us and our relationship - can't speak for Josh & Lolly or anyone else).

      So, for what it's worth, we would like to respond to this, with a reminder that we are just sharing the way it is for 'us'.

      As we sit here talking about this, I'm the typist, but Mr. IDM is sharing his insights.... and he is saying that homosexual sex (for him) was absolutely never spiritual, it was purely physical. But, the sex that we have, as a husband and wife, is completely spiritual, and physical, but in a heterosexually physical way. He says that, not only does he NOT desire 'homosexual-type' acts with me, but even the thought of such things interferes with the love, ruins the beauty, and 'short circuits' the spirit when we're together.

      Although he does have those ongoing sexual attractions and desires for men. He chooses NOT to dwell on or cultivate those thoughts, but instead, to actively pursue and embrace the pleasure and fulfillment he gets from 'heterosexual-type' sex with me.

      He says that he has, on occasion and in the past, been with me with homosexual thoughts and actions in his head, and it just doesn't work. He firmly insists that he knows that this is because such thoughts and actions interfere with the spirit of God, and he always wants the spirit of God blessing our union, because he also testifies that it is because of that wonderful spirit of God that he is 'able' to have, enjoy, and love sex with me. This may be TMI, but he literally and often says "WOW! - sooo amazing, what a miracle, what a blessing!".

      We believe that our sex life is so amazing BECAUSE we treat it as such a spiritual thing and because we 'stay away' from those stereotypical homosexual-type acts, and concentrate on the 'realness' and 'naturalness' of good ole' heterosexual sex -and ultimately, IT IS extremely physical and totally HOT!. ;)

      Personally, we find it very interesting that you ask Lolly if she "keeps him satisfied in the same manner as if he was with a gay man?". I Mrs. IDM do not presume to answer for Lolly, but as for me.....

      I satisfy my husband in the manner as if he was a heterosexual man, because he says that for those wonderful moments with me, he feels more like a heterosexual man that he does at any other time in his day. AND, what is EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, is the fact that my husband 'chooses' to be satisfied, not 'as if' he was with a gay man, which would be a fantasy/false experience/lie, but totally and completely honestly with a real live heterosexual woman, who he loves.

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    2. Hopefully, you can see the bottom line here. Mr. I Define Me says that his 'goal' is NOT to just selfishly satisfy his physical desire for an orgasm with a gay man by attempting those stereotypical acts with a heterosexual woman, but to leave those desires behind,.... and INSTEAD, have a loving, real, complete, healthy, and honest spiritual experience with his wife, the woman that he loves, the woman who he has made children with, the woman who he prays daily with, the woman who he feels the spirit of God with when we are intimately together.

      Mr. IDM says that he believes and understands that it is hard for the average 'gay' man to comprehend or even imagine that he even could or ever would be completely fulfilled through 'heterosexual' sex, but he is here to say that, although it may not be for some, for him, it is not only 'possible', but it is absolutely amazing, and totally GREAT!

      (ps- our decision to respond to your question is in no way an effort to 'convince' anyone of the realness and beauty of what we have, but just an effort to educate those who (understandably) are confused by our life choices, and to enlighten those who have a healthy curiosity and genuinely interested in trying to understand. Hopefully people will begin to open their minds to a whole new world that is gaining attention and interest these days.)

      Much love - Mr. & Mrs. I Define Me :)

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  52. Hi, i work for a non profit who deals with the LGBT community as a support outlet. No im not trying to badger you etc. as non bias as possible i want to say something...Its wonderful that the 2 of you have a deep emotional attachment, however i dont understand why you felt compelled to tell your story, and i dont mean this post i mean in general. There is a massive debate over gay rights etc. and society has a huge struggle trying to get people to accept that being gay is NOT a choice. I must give you both kudos because you do make it a point to not encourage others to follow your example or that being gay is bad or that Josh is somehow "cured" as if being gay were a disease. But there are alot of youth out there who are confused and scared battling depression and suicidal urges because people dont accept them as they are, especially family and in particular parents. A homophobic parent with a gay, bi tran etc child may take your story the wrong way. In one of your interviews there was a sidenote from a radio station in SLC mentioning parents saying things like "why cant you be more like that couple and just choose to be normal" (paraphrasing) I have every respect for your right to live your life as you see fit, i would just like to encourage you both to perhaps do an interview or a post or post a video to youtube about those who cant choose to live as you do. This is a serious issue. I listen to people every day especially youth that want to kill themselves because they have no support. I understand the mormon faith and their take on engaging in homosexual relations (i live in Utah myself and half my family is mormon) I simply ask that you respect others rights to live their lives and find their love in whatever form it takes as well and send a message that you are not an example, you are not advocating against the LGBT community. I cant bear the thought of a child or teenager killing themselves because their parents see you and hear your story and pressure their child to follow suit. Again, im not trying to place blame, but im just pleading with you to prevent any harm happening to others due to your choice of coming out in such a public manner. You can delete this comment if you like i wont take offense but im really not trying to say anything against you. I would appreciate a response. you can email me at nones1@yahoo.com

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  53. Hi, your post was moving awesome. Hit home, does anyone know where I can go to get help... I married my best friend and he is bi... He really likes men.. Im having issues now I need help im so depressed. I have two kids with him. We been be for 15 yrs. Married 5. Krazeechic@gmail.com email me u need some counseling and don't know where to start.... :( so sad all the time.

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