Story #45 Husband and Wife as Bound
Story #45 Husband and Wife as Bound
This wife writes: "I joined the church at 18 and was married at 21. By the time I was 22, I regretted both; however, believing the propaganda of the LDS leaders (Stage 2 - Agreement, and Stage 3 - Identity Crisis) and wanting to follow through with my commitments, I persisted in trying to make both my commitment to the church and to my marriage work."
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If one truly believes the propaganda of the Mormon church, and goes through the transitional Identity change, the Double-Bind of Stage 4 is rarely seen for what it is ... a complete reversal of the Real World. The result is the giving up to the Binder three essentials: one's own mind, and one's own feelings ... in short, the ownership of one's own body. It is very revealing that Boyd K. Packer has pinpointed these three essentials as, "... three areas where members of the Church ... are being caught up and led away ... for ... it seems so reasonable and right." In his Talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council he lists three enemies of the church to be (1) The Body, which is the means of our (2) sense Perceptions and feelings, and (3) our Brain, our means to reason. He characterizes these three as (1) procreation, (2) sex, (3) and intellectuals.
In the Real World, the human Body comes first; secondly, through the body come experienced sense perceptions; and thirdly, these sense perceptions enter the brain to initiate the thinking process. In the Upside-Down World of Mormonism these three are condemned as follows:
1. The Body is not "justified" because it is a sensual, carnal body, i.e., marked by sexuality. Sex, in all forms, is "unjustified" and "evil" ... except when used only as a conduit for Heavenly Father's "spirit" children to come to earth. Therefore, Gays and Lesbians are seen as having "chosen" to go against God's commandment to "multiply and replenish the earth." They are doubly punished; they are not only "carnal" and therefore "unjustified," they are also accused of having "chosen" their "gender disorientation." The Sexual Body is the number one threat to Mormonism. The subject is tabooed by the means of silence ... the silencing of facts, and by words of condemnation.
2. The Perceptions, the feelings, associated with the pleasure or pain of the body and brain are also condemned. No "sympathy" is to be shown those with these "character" flaws ... they are "exceptions" to the image of Mormonism. They are listed with the officially "unjustified." Working Mothers have been singled out, as an example of all three ... (Lesbians, Working Mothers, and Intellectuals) ... as being a threat to the role of "Mother," the non-sexual, conduit womb for the "spirit" children of Heavenly Father.
3. The Brain, which is designed to see, and to perceive what is in the Real World, and then to think objectively to gain knowledge of these experiences, is denied recognition in Mormonism, and is designated as "evil" ... to think is to aid Satan, and Satan (the Serpent) represents the tabooed knowledge of sexuality. Says Packer, "In an effort to be objective, impartial, and scholarly, a writer or a teacher may unwittingly be giving equal time to the adversary..."
All three of these "enemies" of Mormonism has to do with procreation and numbers; Gays and Lesbians, Working Mothers, and the Thinking Mind that could realize that individuals, in a free democratic society, have a choice whether to procreate or not.
In the Upside-Down World of Mormonism theft of the Body begins with the last ... The Brain. (It is fitting, I think, that this reversal also echoes The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.)
1. The Mind of the Binder, through the means of the Double-Bind, replaces the individual brain. (Stage 4. The Stage of Reversal - Rape of Mind - Theft.)
2. The Feelings of the Binder replace and reverse individual, personal perceptions, through the reflection of the Binder's labeling system of "justified, or unjustified" character traits. One is to "feel good" about what is "justified," and to "feel bad" about what is "unjustified," which are results of the "Good" and "Evil" labels prescribed by the Double-Bind. What is against the Self is labeled "Good" ...(black is "white"). What is against the Binder is labeled "Evil" ... (white is "black"). (Stage 5. The Stage of Dehumanization - Denial of Personal Perceptions - Reflecting the Binder's Mind and Feelings.)
3. The Body now belongs to the Binder through the theft of the Brain and Perceptions .... (the only means by which an individual can claim conscious ownership of his/her own Body) .... which the Binder now claims as His "Sacred" property to use as He pleases. His "Spirit," in the form of his thoughts and feelings, become the means of cleansing the "carnal" body, which He, himself, has Demonized. (Stage 6. Accusation - Demonization - "No-Body")
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This story (#45) is an example of the above reversals. The Mind Reversals had taken place in Stages 3 and 4 "having believed the propaganda"; the author continues with the core of her story which begins with Stage 5.
Stage 5. Dehumanization - Theft of Feelings - Denial by Silence - "Milk" for "Children"
"I met my husband, a righteous RM (a returned Mormon missionary), at a dinner group wherein our apartment of "girls" cooked for his apartment of "boys". I now look back and see that even the landlords and perhaps others at BYU contributed to the lack of development of the BYU students by not recognizing them as men and women. Anyway, although we saw each other frequently as part of this dinner group, we went on only four dates prior to our engagement. Of those, two were group dates. We were apart during the summer prior to our engagement and he insisted that there be no mushy letters exchanged between us, so everything was quite on a newsy and somewhat superficial level, except that towards the end, he divulged his spiritual side.
"My general authority in the making was almost mine!! I was nearly 21, an old maid by BYU standards, where so many women/girls (take your pick) got married by the mature age of 20. We had a short engagement, during which we limited ourselves to five-second kisses in order not to stir up any passions. Little did I know at the time, there weren't any passions, nor would there be any for the duration of our marriage, for I felt no physical attraction to him. No wonder, I mused later, it was so easy to comply with our self-imposed restrictions. At the time, I felt that a spiritual attraction was the ultimate and he certainly was righteous, having served in a branch presidency. All of our restraint was a sign of our strength.
"At no time before or after my marriage do I remember hearing a church leader advise young people to find someone they love, someone they can be emotionally close to for the rest of their lives, someone with whom they could develop a relationship that would grow and flourish. The "eternal companion" label used again and again always seemed to reek of missionary overtones, not best friend and lover."
Stage 6. Intimidation - Threats
"A temple marriage was the only way to get married, as I was taught at BYU. People who got married outside the temple in a civil ceremony were second class citizens who lived with their mistake for at least a year, if not a lot longer. At the least, those who had civil ceremonies were not as righteous as those who had temple marriages. Also, they were told they would not have the benefits of being sealed or if they gave birth to children within the first year, of having their children sealed to them. I was new in the church and quite impressionable. I wanted so badly to please and impress my friends and church leaders. So there would be no marriage outside the temple for me.
A Decision made against the Self
"Cold feet is one thing, but as I sat in my parents' hotel room the night before the wedding, I wished they would just ask me if I wanted to reconsider and go back home. They didn't, and I was too proud to ask."
"Not I, but you, are guilty" - Projection - Fear - Mormonism Kills What it Professes to Love
(As members are judged by the Binder, so do they reflect his mind and judge others accordingly.)
"As I reflected back on it in the years since, I remember my wedding day as one of the worst days of my life. I agonize still over how much the events which transpired during my engagement and wedding day must have hurt deeply my parents. I was their only daughter. Yet, I refused to drive to the temple with them for fear of smelling like my dad's cigarette smoke. Surely that would get me in trouble with the people at the recommend desk. Since the church teaches that Mormons are superior to non-members, I felt justified in more or less snubbing my parents at my wedding, in the name of righteousness of course. They were, after all, not "worthy" to be at the ceremony. If they would have only changed their evil ways, i.e., stopped smoking and drinking, and become active, tithe paying members of the LDS church, they could have shared in my happiness."
Stage 7. Reduction and Simplification - The General VS The Personal - Don't see this as "Bad"
"My husband and I got to the temple and waited in a long line of brides and grooms. What kind of a factory was this, I wondered. It was so communal and impersonal. We stood in one line, then in another. The temple was really busy that day and I did not know my way around, so it was that much more intimidating. I went to the bride's room alone, alone with at least twelve or more brides, that is. All of the other brides there had mothers helping them fix their hair and dress. I had no one with me. A temple worker came up and told me that my high-necked, long-sleeved dress was immodest and that I needed to put white fabric inside to "make it look nicer". Yes, the fabric appliques might have been a little sheer but nothing was revealed. I was completely covered. Nonetheless, I had to remove my dress and put pieces of fabric on under my dress to satisfy the temple worker."
Stage 8. "Voluntary Union" - Love/Hate - Depression - "Meat," finally - The Theft of the Body
"We walked into the sealing room. Who was there for me? ... Not any of my family or people who really knew me, cared about me, and loved me throughout my life. ...The temple sealer gave a short talk on marriage and children. All I could think was how bad I wanted to get up and run out of the room. I just wanted to leave and never come back. These people didn't know me so I would never have to face them again. But I kept thinking that Christ wanted me to be married and that this was the only way for me to progress. So I proceeded. Fake tears of joy came to my eyes at the conclusion of the ceremony which was little more than the opportunity to say "yes". There was no music, no flowers, no ring ceremony, nothing like the wedding I grew up looking forward to. But because of it being sacred (in my opinion, a secret meant to draw people in), I had no way of knowing all of this until it was too late."
Abandonment - Killing What They Profess to Love
"My husband's family seemed to keep to themselves and not even extend themselves to my parents, the foreigners by all accounts. Of course, my parents, as non-members, were to be feared for their potential evil influence. ...Anyone who is not a member or who lives above the poverty level is not righteous like them.
"As soon as the pictures were done, we rushed off to a dingy, dirty, poorly lit, cluttered hotel room full of crying children so that my husband, his father, brother, and brothers-in-law could give a blessing to my husband's brother's newest baby. Well, I guess our moment in the sun was done and it was time to focus on the next family event. The sheer size of my husband's family meant that there would be several events in a single month, so it was rare that anyone was really special for more than a few minutes, even if it was a wedding day for a family member.
"We raced back to BYU after the blessing to our next stop, to turn in my husband's final paper for school. ...I had spent the entire day before typing the paper, so I had had little time to get myself ready for the wedding day, but that, too, was normal."
Stage 8. Binder Takes "Ownership" of the Bound's Body - "Voluntary Union" - Love/Hate
"After dropping off the paper, we headed for the hotel. When we went in, my husband tried to french kiss me. He might as well have raped me. Up to that point, I had kissed him for five seconds or less in order to keep our strict moral code intact. I had a stomach ache for the rest of the day just thinking of what was to come later."
(This is the tragedy of Dehumanization ... the Binder who now "owns" the mind, feelings, and the body of the Bound cannot receive from the Bound, as a voluntary gift, that which he has stolen from her, and already "owns." As a result, he can never feel truly loved. The person (the Bound) has been reduced to a "thing" owned ... an empty "shell." In robbing the Bound, the Binder robs himself; the Bound has been deprived of the choice to voluntarily give herself. The means of giving have been taken away.
(However, he has been taught that he can "eat his cake and have it too," ... i.e., to take by theft, (what he believes is already his), and at the same time, to demand that it be a "voluntary" offering ... and, if not "voluntary" the Binder accuses the Bound by the projection "YOU are withholding from ME." Again, the means to give have been taken away. The Bound can never "give" because the Binder cannot "receive" what he already "owns." He has nothing of his own to give; he reverses this again, and accuses the Bound (by projection) ... "YOU cannot receive."
(It is the law of diminishing returns. The more the Binder takes from the Bound, the less the Binder has of his legitimate own ... which creates a cyclical, insatiable compulsion for more from outside himself ... from the Bound. The Binder has no Self. He lives on the Selves of others ... as a parasite. This husband was born into this Pattern. He was an unwitting victim of it himself. Those who are kept in the dark by having received only "milk," ... kept as "little children," ... use the Pattern unknowingly as "True Believers," believing it to be the greatest "Good." "Things," Prestige, and Image replace the human identity and compassion of the natural man and woman. The Pattern destoys all that is truly sublime in life.)
Stage 9. Numbness - Withdrawal - "Invisible" - Abandonment
"I knew I did not seem like a happy bride but at the same time I felt like no one really seemed to notice. My husband's relatives conglomerated in the kitchen of the home where our open house was held. We, the bride and groom, were sort of the sideshow. My parents, being non-members, were on the periphery."
(After the wedding, The Pattern is repeated in the new relationship between husband and wife, as the Binder and Bound. Stage 1 was the programmed (by the church leaders) need to get married at a very young age. Stage 2 was the agreement and the wedding itself. Stage 3 then follows with the Mind-Bind Ambiguity of the "Yes, But"...)
"Yes," it is my responsibility, "But" ... I can't.
"Our motel room smelled like smoke. We masked the smell with mint air freshener provided by the motel office. There was no other room, nor could we leave and go to another. We had only $3 in funds so we were forced to use my husband's gas credit card to charge our motel room. Unfortunately, this was the only motel in town which took his card. Ironically, and I did not find out until later, the wedding night and honeymoon are supposed to be a groom's gift to his bride. I had made all of the arrangements since my husband did not have time. This pattern of me taking over for his inadequacies continued throughout our marriage." (See: The Nature of the Pattern of the Double-Bind, Stage 3.)
"Worst of all is the propaganda from the LDS leadership that righteousness (i.e. pay your tithing, have as many babies as you can as fast as you can, etc.), not love, is the main ingredient which makes a marriage work. For me, this engendered years of guilt because I was unable to reconcile why my marriage didn't work, when I had tried so hard to do what was right. I don't blame my husband that I did not love him: I blame the LDS culture and the pressure to be married and to select a spouse based on a checklist approach where righteous and RM are the two key ingredients for a husband. ... Essentially, we had no courtship, no time of testing the waters of a relationship. This was fairly typical of many BYU students with whom I came in contact.
"Now, at almost 40, I am in the process of breaking away from both my marriage and the church."
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Next Page: Story #84 Wife/Daughter - Wife/Husband Bound
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