The word “stay” has been floating around the interwebs a bunch this past week. With all of the SCOTUS posts and people’s opinions on The Book of Faces, it’s getting a bit confusing.
Basically, by not reviewing any of the appeals, SCOTUS is saying that same-sex marriage is constitutional and will be allowed in the states where many stays and voters wanted it to be banned… or defined marriage as between one man and one woman. In my opinion, there will be hold-out states, and eventually SCOTUS will have to face the issue and make a federal ruling.
It’s a little more complicated than that, but for now, this Ally will take what she can get. People should get married if they want… regardless of who it is. Love is love, marriage is a state mandated right, churches will not be “forced” to perform marriage ceremonies if they choose not to (which they already have that choice) and no Church or religious belief should dictate that to any other citizen of the United States of America. I wrote a post on my other blog titled “Kiss My Big White Butt” that basically spelled out how I feel about it. You can read it here if you’d like.
But what about the word “stay” as used in Mixed Orientation Marriages? Should you “stay” once you find out and not divorce, trying to work things out in a heterosexual marriage while dealing with the complexity of same-sex orientation in your spouse?
I don’t actually have the answers for you. I have known people who have stayed and tried to work it out. In the beginning of Devon’s Big Reveal, I was determined to make it work. My view on the matter was a religious one, basing my actions and reactions on the “fact” that being gay is a choice. Therefore, Devon could choose to not “be gay” and with the proper counseling and guidance and manipulation from me, he would choose to work through it and “stay” married to me.
My attitude continued with this until the day I finally accepted that he didn’t really want to stay in it. His homosexuality was not a choice. I was choosing to keep him around until I could convince him otherwise. The day I realized and accepted that was the very day I could let go and tell him that I wanted a divorce.
I slept for 14 hours straight that night and woke up with the most peaceful feeling I had ever experienced.
So… I didn’t stay. I’m glad I didn’t. NOW. But it took me a year and a half to get there, and I tried everything I could think of, even some things I’m not so proud of. I used scripture and the kids against him, for one, and for that, I am sorry. In the end, however, that year and a half was a time of growth and grappling with big issues, with the biggest being my own belief system. Before that Big Reveal, I thought I had all the answers. After those words “I am gay” came out of his mouth, I truly learned what it meant to walk in someone else’s shoes and being judged for they very thing I used to judge others. It was tough. Once you live out something that was not expected to ever happen in your life, you gain empathy and wisdom beyond what you thought you could bear.
How long will it take you, as the straight spouse, to decide what you should do? I don’t know. Some lovely people I have met on this journey and through this website are still married after years of dealing with it. Some of that has to do with age and the length of time they have been married. Some of it has to do with their kids. Many times, however, it has had to do with religious pressures based on fear… and that is no way to live. True love has nothing to do with fear, and many times true love has to do with letting go.
Of course, this is all based on my own experience and others sharing their experiences with me. I will not judge if you choose to stay.
However, I encourage you to truly evaluate your reasons behind staying. Is it in any way based in fear? Like, being afraid you won’t find anyone else? Afraid that you can’t live without him or her? Fear that people would find out and you’d lose friends and family over it? Fear that others will be mad at you, or at your spouse? All of these things can and will work out, because I have experienced it. So have others.
Do what you think is right. But try working toward not living in fear. Fear is stifling and causes too much anxiety and unhappiness.
Be happy. Be free. If you can do that and “stay”, then by all means, do it. You deserve the best in life, because life is too short to live it in fear.
Love, Emily Without Judgement