Saturday, January 12, 2013

Now Taking Bets

This week during my LDS Marriage and Family class, my teacher mentioned a program he’d seen on television where they brought on a group of teenage/young adult stars that had committed themselves to being sexually clean. He said it began as a really great testimony of these young adults’ use of agency. However, then they brought on an “expert” (which made my professor shudder) who claimed that based on hormone levels at their age, it was impossible for them to be 100% sexually clean. Even if it wasn’t with other people, he claimed they must be sexually active in some way in order to survive.

The comment made my blood boil as it reminded me of something I’d seen on Danielle Mansfield’s Facebook wall last month… She had stumbled across comments somewhere taking bets on when her marriage to Ty and Josh and Lolly Weed’s marriage would end up in divorce. The idea in the world is that “gay” men in a heterosexual marriage will inevitably leave their wives because of their desires for other men. Call me naïve, but it doesn’t make sense to me. After all, the Lord has promised that He will give us a way to escape temptation and that He will ALWAYS provide a way for us to follow His commandments.

As I’ve mentioned before, Ty and Danielle have been receiving persecution about their marriage for years. And ever since his coming out, so have Josh and Lolly Weed. For some reason it seems that those who ask for tolerance are not able to tolerate that there are men like Ty and Josh who do not choose to live the way of the world. In addition to them, I know several men with same-sex attraction who are in heterosexual marriages. At the AMCAP conference, I actually heard one of their wives say that her marriage is better because of it, because it means that they communicate with each other better. Josh Weed said on his blog that his marriage is stronger because it was not based on attraction, but based on love and friendship. Yes, there are many stories of gay men getting married and then leaving their wives for other men. I’m not denying that. However, we have agency, the power to write our own stories and the stories I’ve seen in the LDS SSA community of those men and women who have found marriage have been written beautifully.

Yeah, people say that it’s impossible for a marriage like the Mansfield’s or the Weed’s to stay together. When I get married, people may say the same thing about me and my wife. However, no matter what gender they’re attracted to, a man and a woman, committed to each other, and committed to God can choose with certainty that it won’t happen. Yes, there’s work involved to keep that marriage together. But there’s work to keep any marriage together (side-note: there are plenty of straight couples that get divorced because one is unfaithful).

The world has its beliefs. And honestly, lots of the time, the world’s beliefs do not line up with what the Lord’s standard is. However, no matter what the world says, I have my agency to choose the path I want. Sure, I could choose a gay lifestyle, but I choose to use my agency to say no, because that’s not what I want. And it’s because of the Atonement (and through the proper use of our agency) that it gets better.

PS: My bet is that Ty and Danielle will be together through eternity, as will Josh and Lolly. And I have good odds on that. J


  1. Spencer, this is fantastic. You've articulated all this so well, and I wish that everyone understood what you've said here. It's so sad that the very people who fight so hard for tolerance put such narrow definitions on what that means.

  2. Very well put Spencer. I would agree with those other couples. I don't think Will and I have any less chance of our mixed orientation marriage working. Actually I think we have a better chance of it working as we have all those stories of those that didn't and so Will and I have some good ideas of what not to do. :) We also know that to make any marriage we have to have good communication and be very open with each other. I believe we have a stronger marriage because of trials, one of them being a mixed orientation marriage.
    Thank you for you thoughts.

    1. I love that! Done right, SSA can be a tremendous blessing to a marriage, because it necessitates open communication, which will spill over into areas that have nothing to do with homosexuality.

  3. I have to agree with you, Spencer. I've been married for over 18 years to an incredible woman, yet I am gay oriented. But I'm not out to anyone (except her) largely because of the prospects of others being critical of me and/or my choices. I don't need that kind of public scrutiny.

    1. I'm glad that you are out to her. :) As I mentioned to Azalea (above), I believe it can be a strength to a marriage, more than a weakness. About being public, I will say this: the girl I marry will have to be pretty amazing... I'm no Ty Mansfield or Josh Weed, but even just that there's a chance she could get some of that... yeah, she'll have to be pretty great to handle it.

  4. Mr. I Define Me here - Yes Indeed Spencer, it will take a woman with great depth and faith in the gospel, and the plan of salvation, who believes in Christ's Atonement. A woman of courage, and strong family values, with wonderful parents and siblings, and with an abounding love in her heart, forgiving, kind and understanding. Yes, I am living proof that such a woman does exist, and she can bring you more joy and happiness than you could ever do for yourself. Yes Spencer, she does exist... Go find her. :D

    1. Spencer, (mrs. IDM here) - Wow! Well that's a little embarrassing... but after my awesome and sweet husband says such wonderful things about me, 'ODDS' are that our MOR marriage of 30+ years will surely last. ;)

      PS - I truly and whole heartedly testify that my Mixed Orientation Relationship (MOR) is not less.... It's MORE. :)

    2. Brother and Sister IDM, I know she exists (whoever she is lol). Right now my goal is to be ok with who I am, so that I can also be someone she deserves too. Also, I know the term "mixed-orientation marriage" bothers some people. For example, I have a friend whose wife it bothers, because to her, the marriage isn't about his SSA (Heck! She didn't know about his SSA when they got married). Like any good, healthy marriage, her marriage is about love between her and my friend and not about which sex he's attracted to. :)

    3. Spencer, (Mrs. IDM here) I love that you said, "right now my goal is to be ok with who I am, so that I can also be someone she deserves too". Very cool :) (btw - I know Mr. IDM didn't mean his comment of "go find her" to feel like pressure, he just wanted to give you a sense of hope. :)

      PS - We are actually not really bothered by the term "mixed-orientation marriage" but we have only just learned this term in the last few months since reading The Weed, so we use the term now and then (in relation to posts like this one) in the blogging world - but I don't think we ever refer to our marriage in that way except online.

      I just wanted to say a few more words about this subject of whether marriages like ours will survive or fail. Of course there's the standard argument that 50% (or more) marriages end in divorce anyway,...blah blah blah ;) - so I won't go there, but, I would like to share a few things that have been on my mind lately.

      As Mr. IDM and I have been actively reading blogs throughout the LDS/SSA blogging community lately, we have been so thrilled to read the posts and comments from people like you and Unknown User and many others (especially those on the Northern Lights blog) who have such great faith, a strong conviction to living the gospel, and an amazing understanding of exactly how to manage and mold (DEFINE) your lives in such a way that resolves the conflict between your sexual attractions and your strong spiritual beliefs. What I'm getting at, is that we see such a difference from the way things were 20 years ago when we were active in Evergreen, in it's infancy actually, (the very first few years), and the understanding, clerity, and open-ness that is evolving these days.

      We are currently so in love with the mission and attitude of North Star (and the Northern Lights Blog), and are going to get involved there. We are just so thrilled and grateful that the new attitude, growing understanding, and wonderful support system is like our dream come true, as we have hoped and prayed for things to be 'different' than they were 20 yrs ago, and they absolutely are.

      We see so much hope for young people like you, and have faith that more and more individuals with SSA will have the faith and courage and tools to build their lives/marriages to fulfill their greatest hopes and dreams. We believe we will continue to see more happy and successful MOR marriages, and we 'bet' we will consequently see less MOR marriage failures.

      God IS truly blessing us (the LDS/SSA community) with amazing and wonderful tools, support, and examples of happy, successful, and completely fulfilling MOR marriages.

      And, for what it's worth, I just have to say once again, that our marriage is so very GREAT. We are extremely happy, we have fabulous sex, we communicate exceptionally well, we laugh, love, pray, and plan, and we feel completely committed to each other, and especially to God and our Savior Jesus Christ. Life is so very good, and we feel so very blessed.

      We have made it through some overwhelming hardships and trials, but we hope and pray that those of you, who in we are seeing such amazing strength, will NOT be tempted down such desperate and lonely paths, you can avoid these struggles and heartaches because of the great support and understanding that exists today, which we didn't have 20 years ago.

      Please know that we are praying for you daily, we are cheering you on as you mold your lives into whatever you decide is best for you, and we are available and willing to be of whatever help and support you might need. Just call.

      Thanks for your wonderful words and your special spirit that we feel through your writing.

      Much love to you, Spencer
      Mr. & Mrs. I Define Me

    4. Mrs. IDM, no worries. Mr. IDM's comment didn't feel like pressure. Felt like validation actually. lol.

      I think the thing with the mixed-orientation marriages is that up until Ty and Danielle Mansfield and then Josh and Lolly Weed, we didn't see any successful mixed-orientation marriages, because they were just quietly and peacefully living their lives, because it was no one's business. (there are even some outside the church:

      During the AMCAP conference I remember someone (I think it was Tanya Bennion) saying that her marriage to her SSA husband has flourished because it has prompted communication! Done right, I truly believe SSA makes a marriage stronger. It's when secrets and uncommunicative behaviors come in that it becomes a problem (which is the case with ANY marriage that has problems).

      I have another friend who once told me that I was blessed because of my SSA because it helps me be more communicative and understanding of women. I have something to offer a girl that straight guys don't! :) I really realized that today in my LDS Marriage and Family class when my teacher talked about how the brethren communicate to the priesthood differently than they communicate to the women. Honestly, I can see myself relating to both sides of that. Sometimes, like any man, I need it bluntly laid out for me. Other times, the subtle promptings of "Oh I can do better" when I'm praised I imagine is similar to how a woman would take counsel.

      Thank you for your prayers and your support. You and your husband have given me some of my favorite comments recently and I love it :)


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