Story # 79 Husband and Wife as the Bound

Story #79 Husband and Wife as the Bound

Stage 1. Problem - Desire
"I had just had my Patriarchal Blessing and received the Melchizedek Priesthood ... Having gotten through school, I felt the next step for me was to get married. I was abiding by the counsel of the Brethren as best as I could but had no real prospects. ... Not to worry, leave it to the Saints to help their own."

Stage 2. Solution -Trust - "Yes"
"... I got a call from a member of the Relief Society. This sister called me and explained that there was a divorced sister in the ward who had expressed to her an interest in meeting me. ... The RS member who called me set it (a date) up for an evening at her and her husband's place. It went well and we initially liked each other. ... She was attractive and that got my attention as attractive eligible LDS women seemed rare. ... about a week after that then when we saw each other again, ... there was no doubt that the attraction was mutual. We continued to see each other after that with increasing frequency. I actually did do what the Brethren would have recommended. I fasted and prayed with a sincere heart about my love and commitment to this person. On a break from a three day class, .... I got my answer. I got an indescribable warm fuzzy in my bosom while sitting on a bench in the warmth of the sun on an Oklahoma July morning. I knew from what my heart told me that morning that she and I should get married. I made my decision to commit to this person solely on the counsel of my heart. ... This woman and I were married by the ... Stake President thirty days after we met."

Stage 3. "Yes, ...... But," or, "Milk" before the "Meat"
"Marrying this woman meant having to embrace all of her baggage for better or worse. Our marriage on such short notice most certainly was NOT discouraged by the Bishop of our ward or the Stake Patriarch who was in our ward. Once the honeymoon was over I became all too familiar with the some of the deep, dark, dirty secrets which are common in the Church but never talked about openly and which have been well highlighted by other contributors to this story list.

"My now ex-spouse had been previously married to a true believing Mormon. They both joined the Church early in their marriage and were later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple with their two daughters. While in ....... they were all quite the happy, church going LDS family or so it seemed to the people at church who knew them. While he attended (university) classes, she worked as a beautician and was their family's sole support most of the time. He was the scoutmaster at church and was the one who got his wife and children to Church every Sunday. Evil always seems to be found where its least expected.

"Incest has always been an alien concept to me.

"It was eventually discovered that my ex-spouse's first husband had been carrying on an incestuous sexual relationship with their oldest daughter from the time she was three years old until she was almost ten. This, of course, was the beginning of the end of their marriage. The Church did take appropriate action with this person and immediately convened a Bishop's court, excommunicated him ... But ... that wasn't his only transgression. Early in their marriage, according to my ex-spouse, he raped her and had been frequently verbally abusive. This had profound and long term psychological effects on her. After it became clear to him that there would be no reconciliation with my ex-spouse, .....He left the state ... to avoid paying his duly adjudicated child support shortly thereafter. ex's LDS attorney who was the Bishop of the other ward in town dismissed her efforts (due to legal expense and court costs) and told her "Let the Lord deal (with) him now." or words to that effect. Her first husband's departure from the life of my ex-spouse and her two girls happened approximately five months before we met.

Stage 4. Double-Bind
"When it became apparent early on that I did not pack the gear to deal with a lot of the problems I was faced with in our domestic situation (dealing with a difficult adolescent girl who had been sexually abused and an unhappy spouse's situational depression superimposed on chronic depression amongst other things), I initially sought help from our local Bishop. ....When my ex and I explained to him our situation and the difficulties we were having, he offered us nothing but his counsel that if we would stay together and get to the Temple that we would know no greater happiness in this World.

"The demonstration of ineptness of LDS lay clergy's ability to adequately and appropriately deal with the real problems of real-people was again witnessed in our dealings with our new Bishop. ...As is usually the case this gentleman as Bishop parroted the party line of the Brethren. Since neither my ex or I held a Temple recommend he exhorted us to become worthy of one so we could be sealed in the Temple. At that time one pressing question that I had which I did not ask and never found an answer to was 'How is being sealed in the Temple going to make a bad marriage better?' I was reluctant and actually afraid to go to the Temple at that time out of respect for the level of commitment it represented.

"All the same, that very learned, well polished gentleman who by divine authority was called to be a Judge in Israel sent me home from our first interview with him with a terrible self deprecating sense of guilt for being a less than zealous believer in the values which identified us as Latter-Day Saints. It served to exacerbate my own situational depression."

The Double-Bind:
If he went to the temple to be sealed to his wife he would be guilty of going against his own reasoning and questioning, "How is being sealed in the Temple going to make a bad marriage better?"

If he didn't go to the Temple he would be "guility" of going against LDS advice and belief..

Since the rituals and oaths in the temple are too sacred to talk about outside the temple, if he did agree to go through the temple, he would again have to accept token "milk," ... i.e., the promise that he "would know no greater happiness," ... instead of the "meat," i.e., the hidden facts and conditions which would be revealed only after he was already in the temple, as was the case with his marriage (Stage 3).

Stage 5. Dehumanization - Denial through Silence
"Although they (LDS lay clergy) claim to be called of God and are set apart for the calling by the laying on of hands and although most have a fair amount of life experience in the Church, most have no formal education in human relations, psychology, or counseling. Most also have no formal training in dealing with the real life problems of other people or how to recognize possible signs of abuse and most have no experience in crisis intervention. If the Clergy is one agency within the current social milieu available to assist the individual in problem solving, these things must be noted."

(In Mormonism, the human individual is an "exception" ... is not "facing the right way" with the general flock. Those that have personal problems are considered pariahs, weak and infirm, and are told that "they asked for it themselves," therefore, they must be denied ... not recognized, for the good of the "all." It is not unlike the animal herd ... those who can't keep up are left to fend for themselves. See Boyd K. Packer's talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council, May 18, l993, where he states that "Correlation is the one department where they are hired to be generalists." As the writer of this post expressed it, "one size fits all." And, that "size" is a general cover-up ... the beautiful "idea" ... the spiritual "mantle" without human shape or form ... The Emperor's New Clothes, i.e., The Pattern ... hence, the need for denial and silence.

(The irony is, Mormonism takes away the human element in this life, and then promises it back in the next life! Human thirsts in this life will be quenched in the hereafter. In Mormonism, death, not life, is the goal of this life ... it says, "die, before you die" ... so you can live.)

"This is when I was faced with the reality that there were some things that prayer and scripture study could not overcome on their own. We eventually got into family counseling at a local mental health center. ... When her depression was eventually addressed with our marriage counselor, she was referred to a psychiatrist who prescribed for her the new (at the time) antidepressant drug, Prozac."

Note: There is, in this post, a story within a story; the story of the wife. I've chosen to illustrate the second marriage only. The "baggage" she brought to this second marriage was due to her relationship with her first husband who was evidently a Binder who physically and verbally (emotionally) battered her, had committed incest with their daughter for 7 years, which left her with chronic depression which was later managed by the drug Prozac. The combination of the negative, abusive experiences she encountered with her first husband, plus the drug used to suppress her mental and emotional pain, all exploded during her marriage to her second husband. The wife seemingly calmly, later shot and killed one of her former abusers. Through it all, this second husband did all he could for her and she served a light prison term of four years. However, the marriage was over for them and he took the initiative to file for a divorce.

Stage 6. Accusation - "You chose"
"A reasonable question would be where did this mess leave me and how did it affect my feelings toward the Church? Well, I've never felt more alone than when I made the decision to divorce my ex. Some told me I was cutting off my nose to spite my face. I likened it more to amputating a gangrenous limb which, if left to continue to spread infection, would eventually kill me. All of her family thought I was a low down shit for divorcing her while she was in prison. None of them, however, helped out with her legal expenses to any significant degree nor were they subject to the kinds of stressors I was in in what I was dealing with concurrently with this crisis."

(What is implied here in the accusation against the husband, in regards to the divorce, is that he was reneging on a commitment, when in fact, it had been a fraudulent marriage agreement to begin with. What he was marrying, at that time, was the hidden "baggage" which was kept secret from him. As a result, he, at that time, "chose" without choosing. Later, however, he would be blamed for having chosen knowingly. It was a form of "set-up" ... another name for Stages 3 and 6.)

"Through all of this ordeal I did continue to attend Church, I enjoyed listening to other people's talks in Sacrament meeting. Hearing about the problems of others tended to take my mind off my own for awhile. It also was about the only way my faith in the organization was being sustained. Church is such a wonderful refuge for anyone who prefers not to think. Since I already had my hands full with another endeavor which required that I think a great deal in terms of scientific theory, I was content to still believe without factual basis in the divinity of Joseph Smith and the teachings of the Brethren who had done all the necessary thinking already in spite of the fact that one of their big core doctrines did not work for me in the worst way. The doubts which I had at my baptism years earlier and which had been suppressed for so long, however, were beginning to get louder.

"After my divorce and my bout with the high stress generated by school, I began to slowly turn inward. ..... those doubts I had about the divinity and inspiration of Joseph Smith were getting too great to dismiss and, to make matters worse, I did not know why. I continued on in hopes of receiving the necessary enlightenment to gain that ever elusive ethereal intangible which is fundamental to the Faith known as a Testimony which I was badly lacking. I believe what I just explained was evidence of growing pains. Intellectual growing pains. I was becoming less afraid to question things and more dissatisfied by pat answers."

(Stage 6 is a common turning point for many Mormons. In this post, the crisis was initiated by the failure of the "big core doctrine" of the "happy" Mormon family; the facade that covers The Pattern which actually destroys the possibility of marital and family happiness. He finally was able to begin to think and to question after all of his stressful activity began to subside.)

"I read through the material ... on Church History, the life of Joseph Smith, the Book of Abraham, the Book of Mormon, and all the other pertinent facts about the Church I had never been exposed to previously, it didn't take a great deal of creative thought on my part to understand why I had such feelings of doubt ....."

(After a seven month procrastination period by the bishop, his name was finally removed from the membership records of the church.)

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Next Page: Story # 3 Husband and Wife as The Bound

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