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 Post subject: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:57 pm 
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Raised in the church.
Great, active family.
Wife cheated and we divorced 5 years ago. She has nothing to do with the church.
We alternate week to week custody of our 4 kids.
I wear garments, go to church every week, baptize my kids, have a calling, do NOT go to the temple
I want to believe, want to be part of the culture, and have felt what I have defined, in my more devout or optimistic moments, as the spirit.
Right after I divorced, had sex with a couple girls. Freaked out, talked to the bishop, did all the stuff, and thought things would be better.

But who am I kidding? I haven't found anyone I want to be married to, am not ready to let my kids down like my ex did by leaving the church, but I'm in my early 40's, don't have any problem finding women to date, and really really like sex. So, for the past five years, it's been a revolving door of women. Here's the pattern: I meet them, am attracted enough to have sex with them, once, maybe two or three times, feel really guilty, and then beat feet. That's followed by a month to sometimes up to eight months of no interaction with women, and then I start again.

I feel trapped. I'm not doing what I'm supposed to religiously. I'm not any kind of decent boyfriend material. I recognize I'm not really giving my kids a great example, although they don't know anything (I never introduce them to these women). I'm sure the devoted among you will tell me that I have to go divulge all, accept what comes, and then cleave unto abstinence until God blesses me with someone I'm actually into. I've tried that, see the 8 month stretch. Seriously, that seems insane. I feel like I'm aging even further out of the sphere where I'll find women I actually want to marry. Things look a little bleak.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:03 pm 
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What you're looking for is a good therapist. This kind of stuff is what they're good at. You can't get that here.

It's not as bleak as you fear. It's actually not bleak at all. A therapist can help you see that.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:19 pm 
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Identity is a major issue among Mormons.

The church gives us a sense of self that we like, even if we don't like the rules. We feel right, pure, chosen, even if we have to lie to ourselves.

The church is the structure that gives body to our identity, which is why so many people commit suicide when that system fails.

It's hard to find yourself outside of the system that defines you. You can live in both worlds, but you need to have enough of yourself that can survive on the outside.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:35 pm 
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actusreus wrote:
I meet them, am attracted enough to have sex with them, once, maybe two or three times, feel really guilty, and then beat feet.

Quit feeling guilty, then you won't feel the need to "beat feet."

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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:57 pm 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
What you're looking for is a good therapist. This kind of stuff is what they're good at. You can't get that here.

It's not as bleak as you fear. It's actually not bleak at all. A therapist can help you see that.


This.

Go talk to a professional (that is not LDS) about how you are feeling.

You're children will not be let down if you leave the church, especially since mom has already left.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:14 pm 
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Hi actusreus,
It seems the dilema is that you (like most people) love sex, but by the church and maybe your upbringing, you feel guilty - like so much that when you do have sex, it's as if it's just to get off and then you want no reminder of the awful shame you associate with sex. It's not meaningful, as it should be. Maybe you're thinking in either-or... all-or-nothing terms - like you are either Peter Priesthood... or if you endulge in sexuality, an evil sexual sinner. You equate sex when unmarried, as the sin next to murder. But that's not true - and you're not either one or the other. You are much more complex - we all are. Nobody is 100% on the Lord's side 24-7, nor are we always evil.

There is a good reason to usually reserve sex for marriage, because that's how kids are produced, and also monogamy tends to limit chances of STDs. Still, I've come to see marriage in different terms - it's not a piece of paper that defines the relationship, but the relating.

To get to the point, I'd suggest you learn to embrace your sexuality in healthy ways with occasional masturbation (you did it as a baby before shame was taught), until you get to know someone a while (at least a few months), and let intercourse be about intimacy with someone you love.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:33 pm 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
actusreus wrote:
I meet them, am attracted enough to have sex with them, once, maybe two or three times, feel really guilty, and then beat feet.

Quit feeling guilty, then you won't feel the need to "beat feet."


How exactly does one go about just stopping feeling guilty?

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― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951


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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:37 pm 
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Look at what the Church has given (done to) you. Do you really want to keep giving this to your children?

The guilt is unhealthy and uncalled for. Don't pass it on.

eta:

funny thing is Mormon Dialogue & Discussion Board, where one might at first be inclined to suggest, as this good man seems to be seeking strength from within, would not even allow this OP as it's "personal". I am sorry to say, you will not find any relief from within, only more pain.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:31 am 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
How exactly does one go about just stopping feeling guilty?


Guilt is a natural and true phenomenon. It's actually a good thing, very important thing. Except that it sucks.

But, guilt is a like a computer app, or program, that gives information to the consciousness based upon the identity specs.

Scriptures tells us that God does not hold us standards and teachings that we have not been taught. In other words, ignorance is a defense. But, when we "know a truth" our consciousness will hold us to it, (even if that truth is a lie.) It is a standard feature of consciousness.

Now, where I disagree is many ex-mormons is that guilt is all bad and must just be done away with. Guilt is based upon the image of self. Only good people feel guilty, not because of what they have done, but because of their self image. If you don't feel guilty for what you have done, then you have justified it as socially acceptable or that you are that kind of people.

Mormonism is young compared to many other Christian faiths, but being punished for sexual sin was common, at least among the common folk. But, Mormons have a decent set of morals. Many are good people. I like Mormons.

The only real way to get rid of guilt is change your identity, or atone for the sin, (or repeat.) But if your consciousness, (identity) believes something to be wrong, the guilt will not go away unless your "process and file" the sin. In other words, you have to make it "right" somehow. Many are just willing to accept that is OK to sin rather then make it right by working it out with the person you sinned against.

I was pretty "Mormon" in my sexual identity. I still am. I am lustful, but I keep within my marriage. I don't have much need to be different. But if my marriage went away, I've already decided my morals are internally based and not something external. I don't think I would engage in anything not already tailored to my designs for life. Just random sex binds us to people in ways that is hard to put behind us, they will always be there, waiting in the quiet moments.

But, guilt is directly linked to identity. If you want to think of yourself as a "good person" you have to reconcile your actions to the self image. Now, a lot of horny people have done that. I think you can be a pornstar and still be a good person. But, we are struggling with the idea of a "good Mormon." That is hard. I mean, a cup of coffee can lay guilt tracks 3 weeks long. A moment of "lustful heart" can trigger rebaptism.

I personally think the sexual identity of Mormons is unrealistic. But, so was space travel at one point. My question is, even if unrealistic, is it healthy? Suicide and porn usage are high in Mormon areas. Obviously, the strain is too much on many.

Aside from STDs, the main reason for sexual purity is how it might affect others around you. Like, if you are going to hurt your loved ones by hooking up with just whoever, I would feel guilty about that. But, if society holds not claim, like being married or a member of sworn virgin society, guilt should hold no claim.

But also, Mormons believe marriage is forever, but humans really struggle with that. Many "main stream" humans have decided that marriage doesn't last forever that it's OK to move on. I still want mine to last forever, though, I admit, she makes me a little nuts.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:17 am 
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Thanks for the interesting posts. This seems like a good place for thoughtful discussion. I don't know that I worked anything out (I still like sex, haven't met someone who wows me, and will probably always identify with the Mormon pathos, and, because of that, feel guilt when i slip), but it looks like I'm not completely alone with these feelings.

p.s. The fact that STD's are a lot more rare than people say (knock on wood), and that I've been snipped, so to speak, makes it much more difficult for me to abstain. And lets face it, after you've been married, stopping at kissing is tantamount to splitting the atom. IT'S HARD!!!

#stilltrying


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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:39 am 
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actusreus wrote:
Thanks for the interesting posts. This seems like a good place for thoughtful discussion. I don't know that I worked anything out (I still like sex, haven't met someone who wows me, and will probably always identify with the Mormon pathos, and, because of that, feel guilt when i slip), but it looks like I'm not completely alone with these feelings.

p.s. The fact that STD's are a lot more rare than people say (knock on wood), and that I've been snipped, so to speak, makes it much more difficult for me to abstain. And lets face it, after you've been married, stopping at kissing is tantamount to splitting the atom. IT'S HARD!!!

#stilltrying
Hi Actusreus,
I'm glad you feel that you're not alone.
I'm curious why you chose your forum name, which means, "action or conduct that is a constituent element of a crime, as opposed to the mental state of the accused." Do you really identify yourself as a bad act? Would it be fair for you to define me or someone else as one act that maybe they did years ago? You and I are not what we do, we are more dynamic - and mor conscious-based, don't you think?

It's understandable that once you're used to having sex often, it's hard to not. And it's good that you won't be bringing babies into the situation when it's not ideal. But consider STDs are common - just look up reports on USCDC. And many of them are contracted via skin-to-skin, which means condoms don't protect you. More importantly, your psychological & spiritual health suffers when you sleep around.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:40 am 
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SPG wrote:
Identity is a major issue among Mormons.

The church gives us a sense of self that we like, even if we don't like the rules. We feel right, pure, chosen, even if we have to lie to ourselves.

The church is the structure that gives body to our identity, which is why so many people commit suicide when that system fails.

It's hard to find yourself outside of the system that defines you. You can live in both worlds, but you need to have enough of yourself that can survive on the outside.


Great comments.

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To those already disposed to suspect authority, what can be more persuasive than ideas that authority itself rejects? --Michael Barkun


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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:41 am 
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Amore wrote:
Hi actusreus,
It seems the dilema is that you (like most people) love sex, but by the church and maybe your upbringing, you feel guilty - like so much that when you do have sex, it's as if it's just to get off and then you want no reminder of the awful shame you associate with sex. It's not meaningful, as it should be. Maybe you're thinking in either-or... all-or-nothing terms - like you are either Peter Priesthood... or if you endulge in sexuality, an evil sexual sinner. You equate sex when unmarried, as the sin next to murder. But that's not true - and you're not either one or the other. You are much more complex - we all are. Nobody is 100% on the Lord's side 24-7, nor are we always evil.

There is a good reason to usually reserve sex for marriage, because that's how kids are produced, and also monogamy tends to limit chances of STDs. Still, I've come to see marriage in different terms - it's not a piece of paper that defines the relationship, but the relating.

To get to the point, I'd suggest you learn to embrace your sexuality in healthy ways with occasional masturbation (you did it as a baby before shame was taught), until you get to know someone a while (at least a few months), and let intercourse be about intimacy with someone you love.


Good advice.

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To those already disposed to suspect authority, what can be more persuasive than ideas that authority itself rejects? --Michael Barkun


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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:33 am 
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I'm a lawyer, and actusreus is a legal term. But I like your analysis :)

I want to be clear, the Mormon guilt thing is far from the only reason it troubles me. It's damaging from a purely secular perspective as well. I am posting because I dislike where I am, but just don't see a lot of options that don't involve spending the rest of my life with someone I don't really dig, or becoming a sexual camel. Man is that he might have joy? That ain't joy Sally.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:39 pm 
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So, is the main issue you're afraid of having another marriage turn out how the last did, or worse? And you see the only alternative to that is being Ready Freddy with almost anyone also sexually ready?

I've wondered if it is possible to have a long term marriage where both still feel passion and really actively love each other - after 50+ years. What does it take? Is it worth it?

I've been married for a while - almost 18 years and right now, it's not good. We're hanging in there for the kids, and trying to get along, be kind - especially for them. But I feel like the relationship is dead. We married quickly and for the wrong reasons. I wasn't in the right state of mind - I don't think there was enough love/passion. So, I wonder, if/when we split, would I have grown enough to attract & be attracted to someone with whom I could have a more ideal relationship? Is that what I really want - so much to work hard on it?

What about you? What do you really want? Is what you're doing getting you closer to it?


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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:10 pm 
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I'm sorry things aren't going well. All I can say is that the grass is not greener. I am tied to no-one, can, and often do, sleep with whomever I want, and yet all I long for is my family back. I'd do anything you can to keep it and fix it, if possible.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm probably just looking for apologists
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:35 pm 
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artusreus, I think guilt and worry are sides of the same coin. I found a saying that has helped me at times, “Worry is an old man with a bent head, carrying a load of feathers he thinks is lead.”

I have been where Amore is and I have been where you are, it gets better but slowly. There is good advice to be found in this thread, I am a big proponent of professional help because it helped me tremendously. My second marriage is great, 26 years great and getting better. Good luck...

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