Friday, February 23, 2007

"Sometimes I think you wished you married Peter Priesthood."

My husband is an atheist. We met in 2002, when I was still pretty TBM. It started out as one of those situations where we were both out to convert the other one. To make a long story short, he won, mostly. And we've been married for almost a year.

My husband is wonderful. Right now I'm working and he's not. So he has dinner ready for me practically every night when I get home from work. He's a great cook. He makes candles. A couple weeks ago he decided to learn how to sew and already made two quilts. He really is a Susie Homemaker, except, well... he's a guy. He also has great taste. And most days I feel incredibly lucky to have him. He's a great catch.

Sometimes I have .... I'll call it a relapse. I'm slightly bi-polar. I don't think it is bad enough for me to go to therapy or get on medication. (Plus, I HATE meds.) Even when I'm having a down, I can still function. But I do tend to lash out at those closest to me, which is my beloved husband.

After I did my venting/unloading/"My life sucks" spiel to my husband during my last relapse, he turned to me, and said. "Sometimes I think you wished you married Peter Priesthood."

The sad thing is, his statement is partly true. Part of me does wish I fell in love with some Mormon boy and he was Peter and I was Molly and I'd be a housewife and we'd live happily ever after with our house and dog and yard and 2.1 beautiful children, sitting in the second pew at church in nice dress clothes, never late to Church. I think wow, life would be so much easier. He'd have a nice well paying job and be the breadwinner. I wouldn't have to work. My student loans would be paid for by him. I'd be rescued!

And I'd be an automaton, and truthfully very miserable. Because even when I was TBM, I was still a rebel, and I was still a somewhat of a feminist, and there were still aspects of Mormon Doctrine that didn't sit well with me.

I had a moment where I could clearly see my life if I choose the Molly Mormon route. And I knew that wasn't what I wanted. I decided I would rather take a "lesser glory" and still be with my dear husband, than shoot for the Celestial Kingdom, and be a lone or a second wife, and be stuck in eternity with a bunch of people I really didn't like.

Quite often, when I have a relapse, religion is typically part of the issue. Growing up Mormon, in a strict religious/military household means having a lot of guilt placed on you. (Don't get me wrong, I love my parents dearly, and my father is a REALLY cool guy, now that he's retired.) So when I get down, a lot of that strict Mormon upbringing comes back to the surface. And I'd feel guilty for my life choices. That type of relapse happens less often, now that we are married.

The other issue that usually brings on a relaspe is usually work/career related. I was the smart kid in high school. But it was all about getting into BYU, not about getting a job after college. The sad thing is, the main reason I wanted to go to BYU was to get hitched. I graduated with a worthless BA (not family science, but almost as bad), and failed to get my MRS. Working as an Administrative Assistant while having a degree is very depressing.

And the truth is, I do blame the LDS Church partly for this. There is so much pressure at Church to get married and have children. At the ripe age of 25, I was beginning to feel like a freak/fluke/failure at Church in Relief Society. There was so much pressure to get married in the temple to a worthy Priesthood holder who served a mission. Who needs a career? My job will be to stay at home and make babies and teach my children and keep house. The possibility of a career and having to earn a living didn't even cross my mind until my last semester of college. Opps.

So now, as I approach 30, I'm contemplating the whole career thing, trying to figure out what to do with my life. And that sure can get depressing. What does it mean when you want a 5-10 year redo?

But I have my husband, and he is awesome. And he means the world to me. And I wouldn't trade him for anything. Besides, I'd rather rescue myself.


FrenchExpat said...

I only realized what I wanted to do with my degree when I was approaching 30.

I never considered being a teacher before. I wasn't ready, it was not for me when I was younger. But with my degree in Languages, there wasn't much work and I ended up working in a call-center! Now, I love being a teacher in training. It's amazing, and I hope you can find your professional path. Soemtimes we need to go through other plans and other dreams before coming to the right one for us.

As for your other comments, I am not willing to be part of the LDS Church again, but there are times, when I am feeling down or attacked for my beliefs that I become a defender of the Mormon faith and tend to sound like a Fundamentalist Mormon (blood-atonement, Polygamy and all that jazz!).

Maybe this is some sense of guilt that we did not live up to the standards some people had decided for us. Or maybe this is just a way to hurt ourselves and the people we love.

Leslie said...

gosh, i hope you don't see me as molly married to peter. yeah, yeah, yeah, we met at BYU and both graduated from there. and i got my teaching degree (BS, by the way, not BA), but then i decided not to use my degree. then i go and get married, and get a job, then get sick of the job, so i quit and let my husband earn all the money while i sat oon my butt. so then i get knocked up and have a baby. so i guess i'm living the dream. of course we are usually pretty close to being late, more likely to sit on the second row from the back (okay, very likely, although sometimes it's the back row or thrid from the back, you get the idea. we are always in the overflow or the over-overflow), but we are in our perfect church clothes. carl hardly ever wears a suit though, and sometimes doesn't even wear a white shirt (GASP), so maybe not.

oh yeah, he also paid my student loan for me (wait, no he didn't the parents did that with our leftover wedding money) but that was only $1500 so no biggie. so yeah, life seems wonderful, but then i hate my calling. teaching primary for more than one year, with our craphole primary presidency is grounds for major burnout. plus you throw abby into the mix...carl and i "team teach" but not really, because he takes abby out of class when she starts crying, since he can't teach the class by himself. so anyways, i think my life is good, other people would look at it and say it sucks, but i guess it all depends on who you are. this was a really long comment, sorry about that.

Kaycei said...

I almost mentioned you in the blog, but decided to edit that part out. On the outside, you do have that perfect life. But you proved a wonderful point - just because it may seem like that great life, doesn't always mean it is.

princesaplumeria said...

I am 27 years old, a Mormon, and single. Sometimes I feel like a failure because I haven't gotten married and started a family and done all those typical things that seem expected of me.

But you know what? I've done a lot of things that I never would have been able to do had I gotten married already. I've seen the world (well, a lot of it), I've gotten involved in the community, I've got a good job...etc.

And while I'd still like to get married and have a family someday, I'm so glad I didn't get married at 19. I love the experiences I've had in my life. And who cares about what is expected of me!! I've made a dang good life for myself.