I Want YOU, NOT Your Uterus!

March 20, 2013

Look, dating blows! Dating over 30 really blows. Dating over 30 post-divorce is something like a cross between slicing open your jugular vein, and stabbing small needles into your eyes one at a time. Or at least that’s what one might infer from Tracy M’s post on the topic over at BCC a few weeks back.

I don’t disagree with her…or the vast number of commenters either. If you’re reading this you likely hope to find someone intelligent, can carry on a conversation without resorting to testifying, and isn’t either looking for your uterus or your money.

Having not dated much outside of Mormonism I can’t really compare, but at least in the church it all seems exacerbated by the roles we insist on adopting. And therein seems to lie the bulk of the problems for both genders. As per Tracy M, if you’re a woman, apparently most men are interested in your child bearing capabilities…or at least that’s what women think. It certainly goes both ways! Furthermore, I think both genders don’t realize how they often perpetuate the very problems they complain about! Let me try and explain…

:: steps onto soapbox ::

I’ve observed roughly two general trends for women as I’ve begun dating post-divorce. The first type of woman got married (or had a boyfriend), got pregnant, and became a SAHM. Divorce hit these women like a ton of bricks and now they have to pick themselves up and try to create some kind of life and identity for themselves. They start getting an education, they have to live on their own, get a job, make money, fix their own cars, use a screwdriver, etc. It’s like these types of woman believed that all they needed to bring to the relationship table was their uterus! And I certainly wouldn’t blame them for thinking that since that’s the culture we create (as has been pointed out by feminists since Adam blamed Eve for making him eat the forbidden fruit). Is it any wonder that men act accordingly?

The second type of woman has her sh*t together! She focused on her education and now has a PhD in public health administration, runs a marathon every week, has led a campaign to save the whales…three times, and wants absolutely nothing to do with a divorced guy with three kids. For these women it feels like no man will ever be good enough. She has no baggage (at least she assumes so) and expects her mate to not have any either. The irony with this type of woman is that she wants a never-been-married guy that is mature enough, despite every cue in society to the contrary, to handle that she’s very possibly smarter, more motivated, and more successful than he!

Let me put it out there…I want YOU, not your uterus! Perhaps the sales pitch to a never-married guy to purchase your uterus in exchange for financial security works the first time. But I’ve debunked the uterus! I don’t want to be your sugar daddy, and I’m not even sure if I want more children! I want you to bring more to the table! I want an equal. I want someone who has an opinion and wants to discuss it. I want someone as successful (or more so) than I! I want someone who is independent, who has passions, and wants to form a supportive team so both of us can fly! And then we get to woman number two. Look, I’m not scared off by your degrees, your test scores, your political views, your income, or your career success…I can hold my own. You’re not so phenomenal that all men tremble before your success. In fact, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…ready?…some men actually aren’t so insecure that they wet themselves because you have some extra initials at the end of your name. But the problem is you wouldn’t know that because you insist on dating guys who are often no more than overgrown teenagers!

Oh, and one more thing…you don’t have to be younger than me. I don’t need you to have perky boobs, a tight a$$, and be 5’8″ and weigh 125 lbs either. I’m not perfect…why would I expect you to be?

:: steps down from soapbox and runs and hides in a bunker ::

Here’s the thing. I know we teach a certain model for gender roles and identity. I know that being a SAHM is hard work, a noble calling, etc. Hell, I take care of three kids half the time by myself! It’s rough, but satisfying. But I already tried that model…and not only did it fail spectacularly for me emotionally and financially during the marriage, but I’ll be paying a financial price for it for years to come! At the end of the day I want someone who isn’t dependent on me, someone who wants to take care of me as much as she wants to be taken care of…and I’m not talking about doing the dishes, or cooking meals while I go to work everyday!

I admit it, I’m drawn to Mormon women. I’ve deconstructed my orthodox Mormon testimony, and reconstructed something more satisfying for me yet I remain in the Mormon sphere. That makes me simultaneously a member of the club and an outsider. I’m not fixed on the Mormon view of life after death, so I’m open to many possibilities. Nevertheless, as I’ve dated around, I’ve found myself most drawn to women from my culture despite the idiosyncracies and problems our culture creates for both genders. This creates a real problem for me. Most Mormon women aren’t in a position to accept my brand of Mormonism. Most Mormon women are surprised to learn that a woman has never prayed in GC! Most Mormon women are still under the impression that what they bring to the table is their child-bearing capabilities, and that’s their role in life – to provide bodies for God’s children. It just doesn’t work for me anymore.

We all play a role in the dynamic that creates gender inequality…and we’re all victims of it as well. Sometimes, I suppose, the gender roles we carve out work. But often they don’t, and when they don’t we all pay a price. Understanding the role we play in that dynamic can help break it as we exercise control over the only thing over which we have control…ourselves.

I know it’s not simple. I know there are great women out there looking for someone like me…I just can’t seem to find them. I know the same goes for many women…you’d like to date the right guy but the only ones who will go out with you are those in the market for a SAHM, or overgrown teenagers. I can’t speak for everyone at Wheat & Tares, but for my part, I would love to help Tracy M facilitate any sort of dating/singles site or Facebook page, or whatever to help like-minded people meet up.

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67 Responses to I Want YOU, NOT Your Uterus!

  1. Howard on March 20, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    I’ve dated LDS women in the Salt Lake/Provo area and I am dating non-Mormon women in CA. There is no contest, in my experience the non-Mormon women are far more emotionally mature and mentally awake as a result they make much better partners.

    Young LDS marriages are based more on symbiosis than intimacy because young people are by definition incomplete in their development and young Mormons being raised in the world but not of the world are really quite naive. The problem I encountered dating LDS women is that they didn’t seem to learn much from their first marriage and many still have the starry eyed desire for a do over as if they were 18 all over again with the same naive goal of creating an idealized LDS family but thinking it will turn out perfect this time! It won’t.

    Rigid adherence to traditional roles encourages and enables symbiosis via the formula 1/2 person + 1/2 person =1 (the couple is the equivalent of 1 whole person). Now endure until the end.

    I prefer two whole people coming together in intimacy with the formula 1+1=3. Two complete and independent people who chose to be together in intimacy produces synergy. Sure each have strengths and weaknesses in different areas and areas of overlaps and non overlaps in knowledge and interests but these tend to contribute to the strength of the relationship.

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  2. Sherry on March 20, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Male Gaze – thanks for your honesty – that took guts! I had hoped to find guys like you within the church after my divorce 12 years ago. I was in my late 40s with three kids still at home. My experience with that age group of LDS men was horrid. They wanted sweet young things, to not raise kids again and didn’t give a rat’s a$$ about my desire to go to college and become like #2 example you gave. Then an incredible NOMO walked into my life who wasn’t afraid of helping raise my kids, who championed my efforts at education, and who listens to my rants/concerns about the church with love and understanding. After ten years of marriage I can clearly say marrying a NOMO was the BEST choice for me. I simply cannot fathom what my life could have been like with an LDS man – makes me shudder. Hang in there, MG. You have a good head on your shoulders and a wise heart.

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  3. anita on March 20, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    I thought it was ironic that right under your post in my google reader was a link to this choice snippet: http://mormonwoman.org/2013/03/20/mormon-young-single-adults-activity/

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  4. Andrew S. on March 20, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    One thing I find really interesting about the OP and Sherry’s comment 2 is that both seem to be pointing out flaws in single LDS members of the sexes — so Male Gaze points out what he finds to be flaws in some LDS single women, while Sherry points out what she finds to be flaws some LDS single men.

    It’s interesting to me as well how both Sherry and, say, Howard (comment 1) point out that things were very different with non-Mormons.

    I guess what intrigues me about this is that it really does seem to implicate how Mormons — men and women — are socialized, what we are taught to expect from a member of the opposite sex, what we are taught we should strive to be, etc.,

    Maybe it’s because I’m still on the thought process of my last past here at W&T, but maybe it’s a situation where the church doesn’t effectively teach its members *how* to think about gender, gender roles, dating, relationships.

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  5. heaven help us on March 20, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    I suggest watching the video in the link provided in Anita’s comment. Words fail me.

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  6. Howard on March 20, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    I loved that girls from the plus size ward were very well represented in the video!

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  7. Male Gaze on March 20, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Re Howard #1
    Agreed…100%. I really like this:

    Rigid adherence to traditional roles encourages and enables symbiosis via the formula 1/2 person + 1/2 person =1 (the couple is the equivalent of 1 whole person). Now endure until the end. I prefer two whole people coming together in intimacy with the formula 1+1=3.

    Re Sherry #2
    Thanks Sherry. I’m both sorry and happy for you! Too bad it didn’t work in Mormonism, but even more happy that you found the right guy for you! That’s what it’s all about.

    Re Anita #3
    OMG! Oh the irony! Well, I guess we can conclude it works for some people.

    Re Andrew #4

    …how Mormons — men and women — are socialized, what we are taught to expect from a member of the opposite sex, what we are taught we should strive to be, etc.,

    I think this is key. No matter how many GC talks we hear trying to remove the stigma from working mom’s (or any other untraditional model) we still are promulgating the ideal model, and that’s what everyone strives for. It’s only after sad experience that you realize the potential flaws in the plan. Though in fairness I’m not sure what else I’d expect…at least not until as you say we start teaching people how to think about these issues.

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  8. Jami on March 20, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    I’m still stuck on the part where the only thing I’ve brought to the table in my marriage is a uterus. Isn’t it possible to say what you are looking for without insulting the women who aren’t what you are looking for?

    I wish you well in your quest.

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  9. RockiesGma on March 20, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    What a well, well written post! My applause and standing ovation…..

    I wish you every success in your endeavors.

    In my ward, all men are overgrown teenagers. Bishop, Seminary teachers, YM President. The whole Elders Quorum. The High Priests are semi-fossilized ones. All great guys. Love them.

    I married one a thousand years ago and raised several. I’m convinced it’s part of the oath and covenant.

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  10. Douglas on March 20, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    The stereotyping of lack of qualities in a group of potential mates ( going either way) seems to be proportionate to the degree that one blames others rather than him/herself for the disappointments in life.

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  11. Maggie on March 20, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    It’s tough.

    I guess I fall into the second category and I’ll admit that I find the way you describe the single women of a certain age in the church to be little harsh, but I’m going to assume that you are exaggerating to make a point. I don’t feel terribly picky though I’m not really interested in getting married just for the sake of not being single. I would like to find someone who loves me for my virtues and finds my vices endearing. And I will freely admit that Mormonism has screwed me up in terms of expectations about the nature of relationships. I’m working to cut myself free from that baggage but it’s a slow process.

    Don’t give up. I know some really incredible women who are looking for a kind, smart and less than orthodox Mormon man. If we could only orchestrate a way to find each other…

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  12. Male Gaze on March 20, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Re Maggie #11

    I’ll admit that I find the way you describe the single women of a certain age in the church to be little harsh, but I’m going to assume that you are exaggerating to make a point.

    Yes, yes I am exaggerating. In a more sincere tone, the women in the first category are attracted to me, but it’s not mutual. And unfortunately, I’m attracted to the women in the second category but they don’t seem to be interested in me (which I justify to be because I’m divorced and owned up to my fatherhood, but which could be because I’m ugly, a jerk, etc.).

    I would like to find someone who loves me for my virtues and finds my vices endearing.

    I hear you, but this is part of my issue. I have met women in category one like this…who accept me in this way. The problem is, like the women in category two apparently feel about me, the attraction just isn’t mutual. I freely admit that I’m not really any better than the women in both categories. It was a bit tongue-in-cheek on that front…. I’m a product of Mormonism just like them. But I’m starting to believe that it’s not enough just to find someone who loves you. These identities and roles are critical in shaping the marriage, and they’re not easily dismissed when they’re tied to exaltation. Love is definitely NOT all you need.

    I’m working to cut myself free from that baggage but it’s a slow process.

    You and me both sista!

    Thanks for your comment!

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  13. Maggie on March 20, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. And while I’m inclined to side with the Beatles on this one, you may be right that a good relationship requires more than love. Most of my experience in love falls into the unrequited category and I think we can all agree that that’s the pits.

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  14. Cheryl on March 20, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    why can’t you and Carrie here get together? :)

    http://twocatsandawindchime.blogspot.com/

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  15. Will on March 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Male Gaze

    Given your outlook of the Mormon model of marriage, I can see why you had challenges within your marriage. It is not for everyone. Marriage is difficult and the Mormon model is even harder, in my opinion.

    I believe it is intended to be difficult. It is intended to make or break people.
    It works for me and my family. It is hard; really hard. We have faced issues I wouldn’t want anyone to deal with, but after the storm it has made us stronger.

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  16. Howard on March 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    the Mormon model of marriage…not for everyone…intended to make or break people I think you’re right Will it does make or break people!

    I think it works much better for two obedient believers who are both generally happy and generally psychologically healthy. When any of this becomes mismatched things begin to come apart quickly unless one party is willing to give far more than the other.

    So after divorce I believe counseling and introspection is a necessary step to hopefully avoid a repeat. How can you sign up for seconds if you have no idea who you are and who you were in your failed marriage? Thus I have no interest in someone who is naive, divorced and hasn’t grown much from it. What’s up with a naive mother of 5? That’s an oxymoron outside the church but a common occurrence dating inside it.

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  17. chris t on March 20, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Maybe there are more categories of women? I don’t feel like either type. I mean, if forced to choose between them, I’d pick being in category two without thinking about it. And you admitted to over-simplification for the sake of effect. But yeah, I’d like to think there are third and fourth options.

    Of course, if I’m reading 15 Will correctly, the only reason you’re single and therefore in this predicament is because you didn’t try hard enough to make your first marriage work. No doubt Will’s next advice will be to pray harder and read more scriptures and everything will turn out. That might be the right course for some people, but it sure hasn’t worked for me. Ah, well.

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  18. Howard on March 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    …the only reason you’re single…is because you didn’t try hard enough to make your first marriage work There can be a lot of reasons outside of your control that can cause a divorce but there can also be some truth to saying divorce is just argument that didn’t go the distance.

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  19. chris t on March 20, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Howard–yes, but the only people capable of knowing which situation it was are the divorced and God, And so I feel it presumptuous to say to someone, as if you’re informing them of something new, especially so long after the fact, Well, you just didn’t try hard enough. How does that help?

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  20. Howard on March 20, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    You’re right, after the fact it doesn’t help at all, it just creates guilt. But before the fact it may well have merit!

    I happen to know a lot of therapists and for the most part couples therapy isn’t very successful at actually keeping people together but I do know one therapist who has a very successful track rack record of putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. She does it by allying them in long sessions without attempting to fix them independently first, similar to settling an argument via. mediation.

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  21. Will on March 20, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Chris,

    As I said, it is not for everyone. Marriage, especially the Mormon model, acts as a sieve.

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  22. hawkgrrrl on March 20, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    I watched the movie Hope Springs on a flight recently. It’s about a 31 year marriage in which the husband quit trying to connect with his wife about 5 years ago and the wife just sort of let it happen. At this point, she is so unhappy, she’s ready to leave him. Marriages are complex. Communication within a marriage falls into patterns and crystallizes. Even if one partner really wants to make it work, the other one gets veto power. I agree that it’s hard work, but you can’t stay married if your partner wants out and refuses to work on it and moves on to someone else, and those things can happen regardless of what you do. People have baggage. We should be very careful about judging.

    I love the post; I think it’s very brave to call out this phenomenon. Single LDS women are told that if they just wait and are obedient, then Mr. Right is bound to show up and build that eternal family with them. But the reality is that most Mr. Rights are going to be on a second marriage by their 30s, and you simply don’t want the same things in a second marriage that you do in a first.

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  23. Roger on March 20, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    I’ve quoted it before but the only love that really lasts is the unrequited variety.

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  24. Zara on March 21, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    I’m definitely the #2 type, but I’m not looking for someone who’s perfect. I’d even be okay with dating someone with kids, provided the situation was a healthy one. As a never-married person, it can be intimidating to think of dating a man with kids, though. I imagine it could be a great blessing to have a built-in family, or it could make you feel like a guest in your own home. A lot would depend on how the guy sees me fitting into the scheme of his life, and whether I would be part of raising them, or whether I’d be the silent partner who “isn’t the Mom.” I’ve also been in a situation where a divorced Mormon man wanted to rush the relationship so his small kids would have a Mom again. He didn’t say it outright, but it was very apparent that was his motive–and after we broke up, he was married within a few months.

    More than anything, it’s just hard to find kindred spirits when you don’t fit in the dominant culture, because you’re likely all trying to fit in the best you can, masking and playing the role.

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  25. Paula on March 21, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    You are looking in the wrong place if that is the kind of girl you want. In essence, you are complaining that all you can find in a heavily patriarchal culture are women who are dependent on men or women who are defensive about their independence from men. What are the odds that women who are not either of those are going to be looking for an active Mormon man in a singles ward? Those of us looking for more egalitarian marriages have a hard time finding even unorthodox or post-Mormon men who are not too steeped in patriarchal gender role thinking to be what we are looking for. We certainly don’t expect to find what we want among the active crowd.

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  26. Jeff Spector on March 21, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    I’m certainly blessed not to have this problem. And I am totally sympathetic toward those who are in this dilemma.

    My wife and I played music for a number of middle single LDS dances and our observations were that the Sisters tended toward being pretty together but not always socially appealing but the Brethren were all pretty weird. Most of them had been unmarried, socially awkward and not exactly appearing to be marriage material.

    Again, it is a hard problem but as the saying goes, the Non-Mormon grass is not always greener…..

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  27. Male Gaze on March 21, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    Re Cheryl #14

    why can’t you and Carrie here get together?

    Let’s do it!

    Re chris t #17

    Maybe there are more categories of women? I don’t feel like either type. I mean, if forced to choose between them, I’d pick being in category two without thinking about it.

    Yes there certainly are. This is just my observation with my very small sample size.

    Re Roger #23

    I’ve quoted it before but the only love that really lasts is the unrequited variety.

    It’s an interesting thought. Reminds me of the unconditional love idea. And this is why I don’t think love is all you need. There has to be reciprocated love, fulfilling of some expectations, etc. for a marriage to thrive. None of us are Jesus…we can’t sustain unconditional love indefinitely under all circumstances.

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  28. Male Gaze on March 21, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Re Zara #24

    I’m definitely the #2 type, but I’m not looking for someone who’s perfect. I’d even be okay with dating someone with kids, provided the situation was a healthy one.

    So this is interesting because you’re an exception to the rule. I’ve dated someone a bit like this. I feel like she has developed her own identity…which is great. But at least for her she still has the ideal Mormon family dream of getting married, having a baby, and being a SAHM. I think for men in my situation the value proposition isn’t so good. And maybe that means that Mormon never-married women aren’t a good fit for me. I dunno.

    I’ve also been in a situation where a divorced Mormon man wanted to rush the relationship so his small kids would have a Mom again. He didn’t say it outright, but it was very apparent that was his motive–and after we broke up, he was married within a few months.

    Yes, I’ve been there. The first real relationship post-divorce has a very high failure rate because the divorcee is trying to return to “normal” life. Fortunately for me I moved on from that stage. I feel like I have a pretty good balance between wanting another relationship and being happy with my singlehood. But I agree, it is a problem!

    More than anything, it’s just hard to find kindred spirits when you don’t fit in the dominant culture, because you’re likely all trying to fit in the best you can, masking and playing the role.

    Well said.

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  29. Male Gaze on March 21, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Re Paula #25

    You are looking in the wrong place if that is the kind of girl you want. In essence, you are complaining that all you can find in a heavily patriarchal culture are women who are dependent on men or women who are defensive about their independence from men.

    It’s a good point you make. I don’t disagree. I would only add that in reality, my experience encompasses both Mormon and non-Mormon women. In fact, of the Mormon women they’ve tended toward type 1, and the non-Mormon women (at least the ones I’ve been attracted to) toward type 2. Of course to be fair I live in a liberal college town full of 30-year old women pursuing graduate degrees. But they seem to be the ones who aren’t interested.

    I think this loose anecdotal evidence might also suggest and point to the problems created by the patriarchy in society at large as well.

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  30. Sherry on March 21, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    BTW, I have two single daughters, one active LDS, four kids, college educated and other one now a NOMO, 1 kid, almost Bach. Degree. Both are smart, funny, independent, and neither is actively looking to remarry. Why? Small pool of genuinely good men and they’re concentrating in their kids/jobs/school. Three of my five daughters have divorced, one remarried; two of my four sons have divorced; one remarried. Some of my children are still LDS, others have left the church, which matters not to me. Yes, Andrew, there is deep socialization in the church as to gender roles. My X was terribly abusive, yet I stayed thru 9 kids and 29 years – why? Because I was taught that a temple marriage was to be prized above all else – bah humbug! I no longer believe that. My NOMO DH is 10 times the man active “righteous” X was. I cannot believe new DH will be tossed aside after death because he never joined the church. Many told me I should stay with X as a temple marriage was my only path to the CK – nope. New DH is what some would call a “Dry” Mormon as he has no vices, etc. He jokes that he’ll join the church when I can baptize him! There are many good people in this world and I believe that singles of any faith could look outside that narrow box and perhaps find a sweetheart elsewhere. Always with deep prayer and listening to the spirit….Life is to be enjoyed and it is sweeter with a companion.

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  31. Male Gaze on March 21, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Re Sherry #30
    Wow! I completely agree with you. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Picking a companion is hard, and marriage is REALLY hard. It can become even harder in Mormonism when we load it up with eschatological consequences. Much better to be certain your happy in this life than to remain miserably banking on an uncertain post-mortal life. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that you probably wouldn’t have wanted to spend eternity with X anyway!!!

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  32. bin on March 21, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Jeff:

    My wife and I played music for a number of middle single LDS dances…

    And therein lies the problem… no middle aged single person dance should ever be organized by the church. It was a bad idea in high school and is a horrible idea any time after that.

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  33. Sherry on March 21, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Of course I didn’t WANT to spend eternity with X, BUT he certainly felt that I would, with no choice on my part because we were SEALED. And doctrine seems to teach that very thing, with weak attempts to say that we”ll have a choice in the next life, hence, the reluctance to cancel sealings in mortality. It was with great reluctance that my SP “allowed” me to cancel my sealing to X. According to doctrine, I am no longer sealed to X, thank God, yet no p.hood leader, would tell me I am still sealed to my children. I believe/feel I am still sealed to them. Doctrine also teaches that I am not “sealed” to my NOMO DH – I beg to differ. A loving Mother and Father would never “punish” him for treating me with deep love and respect, much more than X, even tho he did not join the church, by keeping us apart after this life. It does not make sense to me. SO…my views of marriage and family have changed a great deal. We are to “have joy” and marriage to an equal is highly desirable. Perhaps look outside the Mormon box for a spouse?

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  34. Carrie on March 21, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    I never even considered that a man would want me for my uterus. My boobs maybe, but never my internal lady parts. I won’t say my mind has been blown but you have given me something to ponder.

    Cheryl (#14) might be on to something, we could do a “he said/she said” column…except I’m a pretty unorthodox Mormon as well so it would probably turn into a “she said and he agreed” column or a “he said and she admitted that she agreed and the earth was never the same” column. Either way, it might be magical.

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  35. Cheryl on March 21, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    #34 Carrie – yes, please!! :)

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  36. Rigel Hawthorne on March 21, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    “Dating over 30 really blows.”

    The best way I dealt with it was to mingle into the under 29 crowd. As I had not been married or divorced, it was easier to not stick out. It was not so much that I was interested in a younger uterus, but I was not good with children (having been a youngest child) and I would not have handled adapting to becoming a step-father well. So, did not really experience your type 1.

    I did date a lot of women in their late 20s and early 30s, but for one reason or another, had trouble finding a connection that clicked. You could describe some of them as your type 2 I suppose. I thought about mingling two demanding careers in one marriage and would have been ok with it if there had been a click in the way we related to stress, humor, adversity, humility and industry. I was waiting to see if a law school grad could work dating me into her post-graduate life change while another relationship with someone who had a much more flexible life took off.

    “Most Mormon women aren’t in a position to accept my brand of Mormonism.”

    I cant say that I ever had that same brand of Mormonism, but there are some interpretations of priorities and standards that I had that I perceived were different than those of my wife, but I loved her so much, I had no problem letting go of those things and was all the more happier for doing so. As time progressed, it seems that a lot of what I perceived as differences, were not really that different as we grew to know each other.

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  37. Jeff Spector on March 21, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    I wonder if it might help the current situation to be more introspective about where the real problem might actually be????

    As I read through these comments, I see a lot of finger pointing and a lot about what it wrong with the Church and other people.

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  38. Male Gaze on March 21, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Re Rigel #36
    Thanks for your thoughts Rigel. I really like your last paragraph. One of the biggest problems in my marriage was as an inability to work through changes. It’s hard to do if the emotional connection is not there. Seems like you have had it.

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  39. hawkgrrrl on March 21, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    I want to see the he said / she said Carrie /Male Gaze posts! Let’s make this happen!

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  40. bandanamom on March 22, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    I can really appreciate this post. Though I did find the whole “you thought all you needed to bring to the relationship was your uterus” line a bit harsh.

    Having said that, I realize that when I married at 21 my ideas about what I was bringing to the relationship – my plans to stay home and be the “wife” and the “mom” were possibly not ideal in the quest to have a healthy equal partnership and marriage. Now in my 40s and back in school (recently finished my bachelors and now in a Masters program), I find myself wondering what kind of guy/relationship I am even looking for – IF I’m even looking, which I can’t decide.

    I have perused what is out there in mormonland and the odds don’t look good. There seem to be a lot of men who never really quite got it together – who seem to struggle financially and are under-employed and under-educated. I sometimes suspect this might have contributed to whatever issues occurred in their first marriage. Maybe that’s unfair. I don’t know. The other type that seem to be out there are the ones who bike, hike, climb, lift, run, surf, and own a harley davidson. They seem financially secure, but compensating for some other deep insecurities by literally trying to out-run middle age. So it starts to look like there are two types of divorced mormon men – those who are dejected and sad with little or no motivation (and who’s online profiles typically say they don’t want “drama”), and those who seem to be mainly looking for a blonde trophy wife. I’m over-simplifying it obviously.

    I sometimes wonder how on earth I will ever find a mormon guy who has slightly more liberal views who wants to be in a equal partnership. So mostly, I don’t even look because I don’t want to be disappointed.

    I think we have created a weird dynamic in our mormon culture that – in spite of all our talk of marriage and family – creates unhealthy relationships and expectations.

    I was happily married for over 20 years. Sometimes I think maybe I just need to be content with that fact. Some people never even have that. But I sometimes think that marriage may not have ended the way it did (in the stereotypical workplace affair that often finds it’s way into the post-40 marriage) – if our dynamic had been a little more equal from the beginning. Maybe the pressure of one person being the breadwinner and one person being the caretaker of everyone ultimately doesn’t provide the best satisfaction for anyone.

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  41. Douglas on March 22, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    #34 – a rack and a bad attitude? A KEEPER in my book! We MUST get together and raise the level of irreverence! Just as the Joker noted how Gotham needed an “enema”, so do our fellow Saints need to be loosened up.
    Much of what prompts this whole thread comes from what, IMO, is well-intentioned advice from overbearing Brethren who have had most things in life come up “Aces”, and they self-righteously attribute it to their application of CTR. Now, it’s not the CTR that I have issue with, rather, the unspoken but implied paradigm that if bad things happen that it’s b/c you weren’t righteous enough. I would rather hear something akin to the frankness that the fictional (movie-within-a-movie) Jack Slater told Danny in “Last Action Hero”…”I hate to dissapoint you but you’re gonna experience all the wonderful fruits that life has to offer…acne, shaving, premature ejaculation, and your first divorce.”
    But relegating our young married sisters to the status of brood mares still goes on. Recently my son related to me that his best friend and that friend’s new bride were practically in tears after a BYU devotional for married students. The speaker told them that if they put off having children for sake of pursuing their education, that they were comitting idolatry and legitimized fornication. What rot! If ever I could do what my alter ego (Lord Vader) could do, someone would have gotten Force-choked

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  42. Cheryl on March 22, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    This is my first time ever to visit Wheat and Tares due to George Andrew Spriggs who i’ve come to appreciate as super smart and a kind and profound thinker. Although I had a huge faith crisis resulting in my becoming a non-believer and resulting in leaving the church after 5 decades of being a TBM, I truly love Carrie’s blog that i inadvertently found almost two years ago (the invisible panty line of the church was the current blog post of hers and I was instantly hooked and ended up reading her whole blog from the beginning. :))

    I also like Male Gaze’s dilemma posted here and I’ve hit the like button on several of his responses to the commenters here. While i would love to have a front row seat to a “he said/she said” sequel to this between Male Gaze and Carrie, it’s not absolutely necessary that i get that selfish opportunity. However, i do hope y’all at least decide to have a dialog behind the scenes as I just think it would be a fun one for both of y’all to have with each other. When I read your post, for some reason I immediately thought of Carrie and that she would probably find it interesting, so I messaged her to come here and take a little looksie – which she did. I loved her comment!

    I’m still happily married to a wonderful man for almost 40 years (he makes me laugh every day so i’ve allowed him to keep hanging w/me) and so i’m probably just a sap who wishes everyone could find their soulmate they connect with on all the big stuff and can go through the roller coaster of the ups and downs of marriage and still like each other and have each other’s back after 40 years. I’m lucky that we’ve both been equally committed and worked hard at keeping it alive and well in spite of all the whammies thrown our way.

    Life’s short (now that i’m older – i finally am realizing that) so, come on have some fun now and just be open to making a new friend!

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  43. Andrew S on March 22, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    re 42

    Cheryl,

    Aww, shucks, Cheryl. I’m not a super smart and a kind and profound thinker. I only play one on the internet!

    However, I definitely appreciate having been told about Carrie’s blog and would love followup posts if they are a possibility

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  44. cindi on March 23, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    What had promising beginnings as a humorous jab at the creepy world of dating post-divorce disappoints. The popular position here that the Church is responsible for warping our quest for happiness because our “forever” family is at present ill-defined, is missing the mark.

    Likewise, the argument which reduces members of the Church as either “orthodox” (inflexible, naive, oppressed) or more “free-thinking” (selective interpretation of doctrine, happier, more progressive) is simply not supported. I hear a lot of communal grousing and very little investment in helpful dialogue. What is the core issue?

    Yes, virtually any faith-based culture will offer devotees a standard or process by which to address discipleship. And yes, humans are social creatures – we don’t seem to survive very well all alone. Society is defined as people who organize themselves in some fashion to address their need for basic resources such as food, shelter, power structure and (wait for it…) religion. While this thread is focusing on Mormon culture, we cannot overlook the obvious influence of our modern, Western, industrialized culture also at play, including gender roles.

    Regardless of religious leanings or lack thereof, it is still the cultural norm to couple and produce children during the child-bearing years. Fertility and in vitro science aside, and acknowledging the average age of first-time mothers has been steadily increasing since 1970, the vast majority of American women still give birth in their twenties and thirties. In a faith-based culture which reverences motherhood, it should be no surprise that women are perceived somewhat in relation to their role as women, wife and mother or potential wife and mother.

    I get it that we would like to digest the efficacy of gender roles. However, economics or social shifts do not allow us to escape the reality of what is ultimately ideal; a mother who nurtures young children at home is always preferable to someone who is not the mother doing it. (The suggestion that women who devoted themselves to this kind of sacrifice are clueless dolts whose only contribution is breeding is a colossally ignorant thing to say).

    It is puzzling, then, why Male Gaze puzzles the fairly natural predisposition of women to be concerned with reproduction! Even if the issue is preventing pregnancy, um, yeah, the uterus is a big deal. Women have to think about it and define their identity on multiple levels relative to the function of their uterus (even if we are not thinking of it in these base, physical terms). This is not news. Ew. The opposite is also fair-play; men are pretty driven by what they’ve got in the reproduction department, in situ as it were. Therefore, this is also not the core issue.

    Shall we define the pejorative of “naive” Mormon women, please? I wonder how astute and experienced and wise any of us were in our twenties when we first got married – Mormon or not, female or not? Is this a reasonable accusation?

    Is it fair to consider the real issue is perspective? What is our personal standard for happiness, and how do we acquire it? The natural human inclination is to seek a life companion and raise a family. It is not unreasonable that the Church should offer an IDEAL in this regard. It is not unreasonable that disciples of any age or sex foster a HOPE in realizing that ideal for themselves. Is hope the same thing as naivete? I hope not.

    There are plenty of happy marriages within the Church. Each one of them would likely offer you a keen perspective on what kind of investment that is! They would also quickly give ample weight to heavy-duty religious verbs such as “faith”, “prayer”, “covenants” and “humility”.

    We who are divorced in a culture that cherishes eternal marriage should be careful how we perceive our first marriage. It is not reasonable to always conclude our first choice in a companion was a “mistake”. For example: my husband was a porn and prescription drug addict and pathological narcissist. I didn’t know any of this when I married him at a very young age – which, by the way – was the cultural norm in 1975, religious or not. I did not make him a thief or an addict or a domestic violence perpetrator. I loved him. His five very good children loved him. We practiced valuable principles of forgiveness, faith, hope and charity for almost 35 years. My husband could have been amazing, he was very talented, and when he was “good” he was wonderful. His life-choices unfortunately were otherwise. I did not make a “mistake” marrying him with intentional devotion to an ideal we both said we believed in. Neither did I stay in a complicated situation because I was “dutiful”. It was profoundly confusing. It was a great tragedy. It is not helpful for me to look back on my investment as a wasted effort or something I suffered because of the Church. It was much more complex than that. Instead, my life experience is valuable to me.

    Likewise, Male Gaze probably loved his first wife with all his heart. The issues which ultimately destroyed their marriage are probably complicated. Whatever challenges or frustrations believers experience need not be perceived as inherent to a faith system which appropriately promises an ideal standard for happiness. And, I humbly add, a faith system which is often their most expedient means of rescue.

    Disappointed in marriage or not, braving the daunting world of “old people” dating or not, at peace with our unexpected status as single in a married culture or not – we ought to have much more in common with each other because of our professed hope to believe! We ought to be encouraged to pursue an ideal if for no other reason than it is the “good fruit” we are hungry for. This is not naiveté; this is what hope looks like.

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  45. Cheryl on March 23, 2013 at 6:57 AM

    re #43 – Andrew- that’s my story about you and i’m sticking to it til you prove otherwise! :)

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  46. Male Gaze on March 23, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Re bananamom #40
    I think your observations aren’t that far off – as a generalization – and are the other side of the coin I’m sharing. There certainly are great guys out there…ones you’d probably fall in love with, but finding them is tricky business.

    Re Douglas #41

    Much of what prompts this whole thread comes from what, IMO, is well-intentioned advice from overbearing Brethren who have had most things in life come up “Aces”, and they self-righteously attribute it to their application of CTR.

    That is a great observation. Especially in a marriage, the unfortunate bit is that your partner, with all their agency, has the power to destroy your life no matter how much you’ve CTRed.

    Re Cheryl #42
    Thanks for sharing some of that background with us. That’s really great that your marriage has worked out so well…and through significant changes as well! What a blessing. FWIW, I’ve contacted Carrie so we’ll see if we can’t get something up for you in the near future.

    Also, don’t let Andrew S fool you…he is definitely smart and a kind and profound thinker. Though for some strange reason he decided to waste all that on becoming an accountant. ;-)

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  47. Male Gaze on March 23, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Re Cindi #44
    Thanks for your comment. A few thoughts:

    The popular position here that the Church is responsible for warping our quest for happiness because our “forever” family is at present ill-defined, is missing the mark.

    Hmmm, I certainly don’t hold the church responsible, not sure why you think that. But I’m not so naive as to deny the influence the teachings and culture had on my selection of a mate. It’s weird to me you know? If you deny that the church influences your bad decisions, do you also deny they influence your right ones? Doesn’t that undermine the point of having a prophet, GC, scriptures, etc.? How come when good things happen people want to credit God, the church, but when bad things happen…well the church and God aren’t responsible?

    Likewise, the argument which reduces members of the Church as either “orthodox” (inflexible, naive, oppressed) or more “free-thinking” (selective interpretation of doctrine, happier, more progressive) is simply not supported.

    Okay. I’m just bewildered a bit here. I didn’t think I did this at all. Not sure why you read that into my post.

    I do appreciate your comment, but I really think you’re reading a lot into it that I just didn’t say. Your language also seems to suggest that you’re pretty certain of your view on the situation. I for one, don’t think it is a given that

    a mother who nurtures young children at home is always preferable to someone who is not the mother doing it.

    or that this is the ultimate ideal.

    It is puzzling, then, why Male Gaze puzzles the fairly natural predisposition of women to be concerned with reproduction!

    I’m not puzzling over it at all. I’m responding to a very common feminist complaint that men in the LDS church are primarily interested in women for their uterus (did you not read the post I linked to?) and not interested in them as a person. Also, I’d point out that feminists far and wide have been harping on the reality that it is NOT the “fairly natural predisposition of women to be concerned with reproduction” but that it is a function of our patriarchal society and our obsession with sexuality. But your comment really underscores the fact that not all women see it that way.

    we ought to have much more in common with each other because of our professed hope to believe! We ought to be encouraged to pursue an ideal if for no other reason than it is the “good fruit” we are hungry for. This is not naiveté; this is what hope looks like.

    Yes, I think you’re absolutely right! Only I think the point of my post is that the ideal I’m striving for is likely different than the ideal you’re striving for.

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  48. Jeff Spector on March 23, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    My soapbox is always personal responsibility and choice. We are the ones who make choices for our lives regardless of the influences.

    And the influences are many. Church, God, parents, family, school, media, news, books, friends, employment, etc. all play a role in that.

    So, when things go good, why not take the credit if you make a particular choice? Or, why not take the blame if it goes badly.

    Anyone who would credit or blame another party is, IMO, just trying not to take responsibility, good or bad.

    We’re here on earth to make choices. The least we can do is own up to them. Eventually, we’ll have to.

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  49. cindi on March 23, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    M.G.
    My comment was directed at your post and the commentary following as a whole. I am not concerned about the feminist viewpoint. You can bet on one level they are completely dedicated to their reproductive system and how to protect it from unwanted pregnancies. Their struggle has been for recognition of female capacity in a male dominated society. Kudos. However, feminists are dismissive of their sisters who are likewise exceptionally strong, free-thinking women precisely because we honor a conservative leaning. Our influence and stability is powerful. We have much more in common with them than they are willing to allow. We respect them, but we are not invited to the party.

    What’s your point, exactly, about the influence of the Church? What “bad” decisions? Are you referring to my choice in a husband? My husband corrupted himself. He had every potential to be a really happy, productive guy. He was not my “bad” decision.

    Here’s the thing: The Church perspective is to offer us an ideal standard for happiness in marriage and family. If ideals exist, do we only honor them because they are easily obtainable? What value do we give the “ideal”?

    The feed here (your post and the commentary) appears to pull down an ideal because doing so might make us feel more comfortable with the conflict and disappointment. Gender roles (which also exist outside the sphere of Mormon culture) are a valuable discussion, but they are not helpful really when the ideal presents gender roles to us as divinely appointed. This fact need not be threatening or irritating; it begs the question, do we accept doctrine? Additionally, a patriarchal hierarchy is not the reason for our failed marriages. It is, unfortunately, a system wherein abuses can be inadvertently protected.

    (And that is a whole new discussion: we welcome all to our society of believers with open arms and call each other “brother” and “sister”, we refer to our congregations as our “Ward family”. Our system of church discipline is completely private to allow full repentance. We promote brotherly love as a high ideal of true discipleship. What an awesome environment for a predator! How do we protect the membership without also restraining the principle of acceptance? It’s complicated. )

    I suggest the core issue is whether or not we as believers accept the formula for happiness. Formulas are identified as such because they yield predictable results. Yet since we are dealing with people, and since we deeply value our individual compositions and our unique ability to think and feel, the “ideal” presents a huge challenge. At any time it only takes one person to subvert your hopes to obtain the ideal eternal family. People who smugly click their tongues and say “it takes two” have never bailed water out of sinking ship while their partner is drilling holes as fast as they can.

    Is it reasonable to blame a faith system because it offers us an ideal standard (or formula) that requires a lot of effort, personal sacrifice and negotiation? Above ALL, it requires a complete and mutual devotion to the standards of faith and discipleship presented to us by men we believe speak for God. Whenever there is a break-down in the cooperative devotion to God a couple experiences, the marriage is in jeopardy.

    People on this feed might not want to hear it, but this is the “chemical formula” for successful eternal Mormon marriages. Two people need to be willing to negotiate EVERYTHING without exception on the basis of shared value in the principles of faith to which they already claim to believe. They must be willing never to forget the other person is someone they freely choose to love.

    If a husband and wife can do this, they can over-come any difficulty. A death of a child, illness, opposing viewpoints, etc. There would be no adultery or domestic violence or addictions – because the people truly dedicate themselves to walking as a disciple to the best of their ability. There would be no attraction or at least no giving in to these common and ferocious vices. Deal-breaker challenges would never taint the marriage and mortally wound Trust.

    President Kimball was right when he said divorce is ultimately the result of selfishness on the part of one person or the other or both. He was not some insensitive, out-of-date, pompous old guy who didn’t understand modern culture – he brilliantly and boldly hit the nail on the head.

    The question remains: What is the value of an IDEAL? Good news! We are believers! We believe God will bless us in our righteous efforts. There is a formula in place to help us negotiate all of this tricky business. The formula is genius: it actually is very adaptable to our unique circumstances. The formula allows for and encourages our individual growth and keenly is designed to enhance our growing together as a couple.

    Do we believe this, even after we have experienced hurt and betrayal? Or do we de-value the ideal, regretting our intimate and precious investment simply because we could not achieve it –

    yet.

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  50. Male Gaze on March 23, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Re cindi #49
    I really do appreciate your sincere comments. I just don’t know what to say. You clearly have read much more into my post and comments than I ever dreamed of. I just didn’t say what you seem to think I said.

    I’m glad you feel so strongly about the ideal you believe is right. I really hope that it works out well for you.

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  51. Douglas on March 23, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Yes, no matter how well one does CTR, an errant spouse can wreak utter havoc when he/she does CTW. And you get virtually no sympathy from the Church leader if you’re male, so waste no effort seeking it. Still, the best approach is to own the decision to marry and accept the consequences, both bad and good, and learn from the experience. This is why I’m a bit gun-shy when it comes to trying again.

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  52. Cheryl on March 23, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    #46 Male Gaze – oh goodie! Hope y’all enjoy “single in mormonville” conversations (and other stuff??) w/each other. I shall await the moment i’m included as a fly on the wall! hehe …

    I do have as TBM son who’s gone through a temple divorce after 10 years of marriage (ex-wife just remarried.) He’s in a mormon village in utah and it’s very hard to not feel like an outsider there and he’s very gun-shy to repeat it all. Felt like he did everything right – mission and school out of the way first, sweet on the outside (turns out to be very passive/aggressive on the inside) and just to have it all implode.

    It doesn’t matter that it turned out to be a bad marriage overall and good riddance – one still has to heal from the death of a hope and a dream that things can turn around for the better and the divorce affects his relationship and time w/his kids. He can’t move away to a less concentrated mormon populated area cause it’s too important to him to be as near to his kids as he can be. rock and a hard place. Life’s lessons.

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  53. Cheryl on March 23, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    #52 “sweet on the outside but very passive/aggressive on the inside” *molly mormon wife. * was the rest of the thought.

    I know i’m using cliché labels w/TBM and molly mo but i just find they’re helpful at times in being succinct.

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  54. Paula on March 23, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Cindi – Feminists are not dismissive of women who make the choice the conservative ideal, whatever that may be. They are critical of women being made to feel they must live the stay at home mom role, for example, by others, not critical of any women who actually choose that for themselves. As a feminist who loves raising my children as well as working, it is important to me to point out the difference.

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  55. Toni on March 24, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    #33 – ” Sherry on March 21, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    … According to doctrine, I am no longer sealed to X, thank God, yet no p.hood leader, would tell me I am still sealed to my children …”

    Forgive me if this was addressed.

    Did you look at the letter you got from the first presidency after you got your cancellation?

    Mine explicitly states that the children are not affected by the cancellation; they are still sealed to both parents. I got this letter around 2005 or 2006.

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  56. Male Gaze on March 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Re cheryl #52

    Felt like he did everything right – mission and school out of the way first, sweet on the outside (turns out to be very passive/aggressive on the inside) and just to have it all implode.

    Huh, sounds like he and I married the same girl with the same backstory. Aren’t passive/aggressive people super fun?! Like him, I’m thrilled to not have to deal with her crap anymore, and I’ve since learned that many women can actually treat me decent, and that not all of them are manipulative. Experience is a cruel mistress. I also relate to being locked into a situation for the kids – it’s a tough place to be.

    Re Toni #55

    Mine explicitly states that the children are not affected by the cancellation; they are still sealed to both parents. I got this letter around 2005 or 2006.

    Wow! Thanks Toni for sharing. I’ve never heard that before. I wonder why it isn’t taught as doctrine, or in the scriptures as a revelation or something? I’m not doubting you, just wondering. That is good to know.

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  57. Cheryl on March 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    #56 MG – i kinda thought as much as i read your posts. sorry to hear. P/A game player spouses are impossible to deal with as it gets worse over time. They went through 3 years of counseling til the LDS counselor finally advised them to get divorced as she said the wife would give her NOTHING to work with. The ex-wife claimed she was perfect and her parents validated her perfection. My son owned his human faults and worked on them but of course, the real hurdle was his “perfect and unrelenting P/A spouse.” Her new husband has already contacted my son to talk about the same problems that are now showing up in their marriage re:that but my son told him he can’t go there cause she’ll punish him through the kids. She’s sick but will not admit to needing help and of course daddy (stake president) validates her own perfection and everyone else’s faults. ugh.

    All the details are chilling and can’t go into them here. My son feels for the new husband cause he’s also a very nice guy but yeah – he puts his kids first and foremost and that guy’s gotta find someone else to whine to as my son won’t risk it. it’s this guy’s second marriage, too which my son said, “guy should have checked it all out better first. that’s why i’m extra gun-shy for the second go-round now.”

    Best wishes in your recovery and your continued journey in life’s greatest lessons. I think you’ll be fine – and very happy w/someone one day!

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  58. Male Gaze on March 24, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Re Cheryl #57
    Oh the stories we could share! The whole walking on eggshells for fear of punishment thing is really really bad news. I know how that goes! The worst part is that from all I’ve read, the ONLY way to end the manipulation is to extricate said P/A person from your life. Too bad once you get entangled with them in marriage, you’ll deal with them forever. It’s a life sentence!

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  59. Glass Ceiling on March 24, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Is it possible that the problems of singledom in the Church after age 30 have less to do with personality styles and more to do with the abysmal ways in which Mormon singles are forced to meet? Dances? Firesides?

    There are solutions to this. But it would take great amounts of teamwork on the part of singles. Courage too. And Church leadership would have to be willing to relinquish some power to those who most know the problems and solutions for singles: the singles themselves.

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  60. Cheryl on March 24, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Yes, MG – the shared custody of the children created definitely keep the passive/aggressive person in your life = sadly, much to their satisfaction.

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  61. Sashamichelle on March 24, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    I think Glass Ceiling hit the nail on the head by saying that the singles program is wreck in the church. Its hell on earth as far as I am concerned and I will never step foot in another church singles activity again. Its made me feel awful about myself.

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  62. Glass Ceiling on March 25, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Sashamichelle,
    Don’t feel too lonely there. I pretty much avoid the official singles activities as a rule. I only go to small parties and game nights…which almost never happen.

    I think the current system sets us ypu against each other. Divides and conquers unknowingly. I mean, look at us blame-game the opposite sex …when the real problem is we are all coming from a position of scarcity. Why? I think it is because we haven’t found a way to meet that allows us small groups and fresh faces. We only know how to meet in herds. It demeaning and it it brings out the worst in everyone.

    I wrote a guest post on Wheat and Tares a while ago on how to fix this. I’ll have to look for the name of it after I send this as I an on a phone using my thumbs.

    Basically, it involves small groups doing game nights at of less than twenty people at someone’s house. But more so, it has wards/stakes pairing off for a few months, then rotating to another ward/stake. This would allow people to meet new people while maintaining their wingmen/women from their own ward so no one feels isolated. (This is a horrible explanation. ) abut my current stake is considering doing it in a ward-by-ward level within my stake. We’ll see if it happens.

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  63. Glass Ceiling on March 25, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    It was called “Guest Post :On LDS Singles.”

    Anyway, something has to give eventually. The Church cannot afford the high inactivity rate of singles. And it has to do damage to the missionary program. We deserve better, as does the Church itself, IMHO. The Gospel is far too wonderful and perfect for such a disfuntional means of getting people together who want to fulfill their covenants by marrying the right way.

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  64. Male Gaze on March 25, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Re GC #59

    Is it possible that the problems of singledom in the Church after age 30 have less to do with personality styles and more to do with the abysmal ways in which Mormon singles are forced to meet? Dances? Firesides?

    Yeah, I think that’s a great point. I definitely think Singles Wards have their problems. My feel for them (having not spent much time in one) is that the same sets of people come to all the activities, and aren’t really interested in each other anyway. The leadership solution to that seems to be…have more activities. 2 activities per month, plus FHEs, plus sports night, plus firesides, plus church, plus HT and VT is a lot of time with the same people. To me it ends up feeling a bit like babysitting…just make sure these singles don’t get into trouble even though we’re doing nothing to help them (maybe even preventing them from) find their mate.

    I like your suggestions for improvement. I’d be game for it for sure.

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  65. Glass Ceiling on March 25, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Male Gaze,

    That’s nice to hear. You are spot -on with the way they bombard us with these crappy activities that attract the very same people …when the activities have zero nutritional value whatsoever. And what would be considered nutritional ? I say it’s the ability to let out your fun, authentic self in a small group on a regular basis…with the grand possibility of meeting people you don’t already know and form an attraction with. Personality is what I an talking about. The ability to take it out for a drive and actually be fun, funny, and charming.
    I’m not saying that game nights are all there is…but they are free. And I have seen more than a few eternal marriages result from them.

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  66. Dom on March 26, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    I’m a divorced, SAHM, who ran marathon’s and was a Relief Society President. The model didn’t work for me either. I have a degree under my belt and got it before I, had kids. I am now a writer of three books that are published around the world.

    I never felt, I fit the norms of an LDS woman. Yet, I’ve managed to re-marry, a successful, good man; who champions my writing, not my uterus. We already have five kids between us. Who could handle more?

    I believe honesty and perseverance are the way to a happier life. I’m not the best Mormon -my hubby knows that. I’m a terrible cleaner, my husband and I have cleaners. We have found our own norm, in the Mormon world. I write clean romance novels- he wishes they were steadier.

    We have stayed true to our feelings, our joys, and we all love each other in our new family. Its not easy but we work every day to make it better than the last. You just have to figure out, your own “norm,” and stay true to yourself.

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  67. Male Gaze on March 27, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Re Dom #66
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your story gives me confidence that I can find a model that works for me.

    You just have to figure out, your own “norm,” and stay true to yourself.

    Really well said!

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