Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I've Been Betrayed

Please know that I'm completely aware of my own hypocrisy. I'm also aware of this massive confusion I'm currently experiencing. Here we go...

Tonight I was talking to Hubby about his adventures with our kids the other day. He took them for doughnuts and then to the museum. I knew he had a few coupons for free doughnuts and hot chocolate and I asked him if he used them all. He then told me that he used one of them for a coffee. What the hell?? I was completely shocked and reacted as such. I couldn't believe it. I sat in disbelief for a few seconds and then said, "You know, I think I would have taken it better if you had told me you had slept with a woman." Sad thing is, I think I meant it.

Back story. Of course we have been a good Mormon family for almost 17 years. We followed the Word of Wisdom and all the other rules of the church....as best we could. Some things were extremely important to us. No rated R movies. No shopping on Sundays. No coffee for him and no iced tea for me. And the list goes on and on. Well, I remember a very long time ago making a pact with Hubby that we wouldn't drink those things. I did have a rebellious moment when I broke up with my girlfriend a few years ago and started drinking iced tea. I think I had two total. I didn't feel good about it and stopped. He knew about it and he and I still had our pact. So now I'm going to explore my feelings.

I stopped going to church several months ago. Hubby continues to go to church with the kids but ends up sitting on the couch in the foyer during Gospel Doctrine and Priesthood meetings. I have "gone off the deep end" recently and watched three separate rated R movies. These weren't "bad" rated R movies (I know that you know what I'm talking about here).

1) Imagine Me and You (one F word, simple kissing lesbians)
2) 8: The Mormon Proposition (one F word, not much else)
3) The Passion of the Christ (massive brutality)

Okay, so, I've been a "bad girl." Well, at that time I recognized my attempt at breaking some of the rules that the LDS church has placed on me. I wanted to spread my wings. I wanted to be myself without worrying about the guilt that comes from such things while being completely entrenched in the church. But I also realized that I don't want to just throw all of my morals away. Not saying that you can't be moral when watching rated R movies. It's just my way of setting some boundaries for myself and staying within them so as to not go completely "off the deep end." Does that make sense?

Hubby drinking coffee broke our rules for ourselves...and he didn't run it by me first. Not that he answers to me, but it's a respect thing. I had talked to him about the movie thing and of course he didn't judge me, but he didn't talk to me about the coffee thing. And apparently he's been drinking it at work for a month or two. What?? Anyway, I was angry. It surprised me how angry I was. But as we talked more I realized that it was a symbol of our commitment to each other. And if he's willing to break that rule, then what other rules is he breaking without telling me? Is he "going off the deep end" and heading in a direction that will be destructive?

Our rule about those drinks was also a symbol of our commitment to the church. For some confusing and unexplained reason, even though I've stopped going to church, I have a hard time accepting the fact that Hubby sits on the couch each Sunday. I have a hard time thinking that he doesn't want to be there. I have a hard time that he stopped wearing his garments. I have a hard time imagining that one day he might not want to go to church at all. Even though all of the reasons are good enough for me to no longer be a part of things, I am scared to death that he'll stop going. I don't get it. It doesn't make sense but I know I feel all of that.

Some of you who are reading this are thinking "lighten up....it's coffee for hell's sake!!" You're absolutely right. It shouldn't be a big deal. I'm trying to deal with the confusion myself. I've been the woman who has had an affair while married.....and Hubby has been a saint. But I continue to feel betrayed by him now being a coffee drinker. Coffee itself should not be an issue with me. And I don't know that it is. But the symbolism is more difficult for me to get past. What does it mean? We had drawn a very firm line and now it's been crossed. His own words were "I bumped up the line." I think my fear is where the line will be bumped to next. I admit that I'm a black and white/all or nothing sort of gal, so it's hard for me to not assume that his drinking coffee won't lead to him smoking crack or something. It's a simple rule that has been broken but it was extremely important to both of us. I am a firm believer in rules. I am the type of person who is apt to go to the extreme so I need guidelines to keep me safe. If he's willing to break this rule, where will it stop? If I'm willing to break the rule of watching rated R movies, where will it stop? What will be next?

Coffee isn't bad all by itself. Nor is a rated R movie. I get that. My friend Nicole is rolling her eyes and getting ready to blast me for this post, I just know it! But it's all about the rules to me and I just don't know what to do about his betrayal. I mean, there's nothing I'm going to "do" but I'm still dealing with the confusion.

Lighten up much?? I know, I know...

But Ugh.


A.J. said...
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Jessica said...

I wonder if you feel this way because of guilt. Like you don't want to be the cause of your WHOLE family leaving the church and NOBODY following the rules. Since you were the first to leave, you are worried about your example, so when H drinks coffee, et. al you see it as the beginning of the end and IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!

I could be right, I could be wrong...but I think this is how I would feel. Guilty, guilty. Mormons luv guilt.

Miguel said...

Maybe it is time to redraw the lines and stop equating your marriage to how the LDS Church and The Proclamation of the Family poster. It is obvious that you both are way past "the line" and believe me drinking coffee and watching R rated movies are things that the rest of the world does every day and marriages don't fall apart because of it and people are able to function just fine. Be realistic and face the fact that you guys have evolved for better or worst. Take this for what is worth and don't freak out. You no longer live in a black/white world kid, start living like it, stop fighting it and actually enjoying it!

Nikki said...

OK, without falling off the deep end myself, I completely agree with Miguel. It seems to me that you guys live in a world long forgotten by the rest of us. For better or for worse, where and when you live is outdated. You can't keep up with the rest of the world if you are living by rules that became obsolete in the 1950's.

Things aren't so bad here in the 21st century. There are problems but people like me get along just fine. We live, love and laugh. We watch R, and even X rated movies, we drink coffee and sometimes we even swear. On occasion we even listen to music WITH swearing in it that could be considered R rated! I don't consider myself out of control or a bad person. I think I am kind and caring and even quite spiritual. I think it feels good to get rid of the rules once in a while and just let go. I live TOTALLY in gray and I quite enjoy it there.

(And yes I was in fact rolling my eyes!)

AND I used to be Nicole but I changed myself to my more common nickname.

alex dumas said...

"Even though all of the reasons are good enough for me to no longer be a part of things, I am scared to death that he'll stop going."

Have you really thought about *why* you're scared he'll stop going?

FindingMyWay said...

Yes, I believe guilt has a lot to do with it. I'm tired of the guilt, aren't you??

Thanks so much. I know I need to lighten up, it's just hard after all these years. And living in the grey is something I've NEVER done. I guess I should give it a shot.

I KNEW you were rolling your eyes! I could feel it. ;) Uhhhmmmm, sometimes you even SWEAR??? Gasp. Not you??!?!

I've been thinking more about the why. Nikki actually had a really good talk with me the other day and I think she hit on something. Maybe I'm freaking out because it means separation in some way, and moving on. I don't want to see it all end and this is proof that it's beginning to. Kind of makes sense.

Anyway, I don't know all of the answers. I'm trying. It doesn't make sense to me that I'd be feeling all of this, but I'm working on it. Thanks for you comments and ideas.