Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Divorce

In my post a few days ago Fern asked me about when I was married to my ex-husband and how/why the marriage failed. So here is the story:

James and I married in November 1995. I loved James, but I was not in love with him. When we first started dating he converted to become a Jehovah's Witness. He was raised Catholic, so this was very hard for his parents. I think they always resented me for that and I totally understand that now. James became a very hard core JW. I always thought I was a good JW until James came along. He would bug me about certain things I did and say that it was right. In the fall of 1998 we decided that I would go off the pill and we were hoping we would become pregnant. I think we were pretty lucky that I did not get pregnant considering the marriage was never going to last. It's kind of scary thinking that if that had happened I would have a 9 year old.

In the fall of 1999 I had just started my first job after getting my bachelors degree and life was pretty good. I was meeting a lot of cool people through work and I really felt like I was able to breathe again. I felt that my marriage to James and the church were suffocating me. In October of 1999 I took a family I was working with to the Child and Family Services building. When their worker came out it was as if my heart stopped. It was the first time that I realized that I didn't want to just be her friend. It was the first time that I wanted to kiss a woman. I introduced myself and gave her card and told her to call if she ever wanted to hang out. Believe me, this was the first time I had ever done something like this. Well a few days later she came to my work to talk about the family we were both working with. I loved how she didn't just call me, but came to my work to see me. We decided that we should get together sometime for drinks after work. I was thrilled and so excited. I remember I couldn't stop thinking about her and even though it felt great, I was also very scared. I knew what this meant and I knew exactly what was going to happen if I followed through with it. And even though I knew what it meant, I didn't care. I was willing to take that chance.

This person and I got together a couple of times, but nothing physical ever happened. By November James was realizing something was going on. I got scared and told him exactly what I was feeling and that I didn't know what to do about it. James freaked out and really seemed disgusted with me. You know, most straight men probably would love it if their wife said she wanted to sleep with a woman. Not James. He was horrified and within a couple of days we were sitting in front of an elder. I was upset because the elder that James chose to talk to was my uncle. I have never been more uncomfortable then talking to my uncle about what was going on.

That year my parents gave James and I a week long vacation in Mexico for our anniversary. They knew we were having problems and I think they were hoping this trip would change things. It was on this trip that I realized I could no longer live the life of a straight and married Jehovah's Witness. Considering my Moms reaction when I told her, I am pretty certain James did tell them I was gay back in 2000. As far as my parents thought we broke up because he didn't like my smoking.

In April 2000, James moved back to California. Right before he moved out, James did tell the elders that I was smoking and within a few months I was disfellowshipped. I ended up staying out of the church for 1 1/2 years and I kind of look at my first disfellowshipping as a dress rehearsal for what would happen in 2004.

It took 11 months for James and I to finally get divorced. I think we had a total of 5 court hearings before we were finally able to settle. The divorce was very much like our wedding. James and I sat back and watched our parents plan everything. In regards to the divorce both our parents told us what to do and the end result was a long, nasty divorced. It was almost as if our parents were the ones getting the divorce.

Up until a few months ago, the last time I had talked to James was when we were in court for the final hearing. I had always wondered how he was doing and if he was happy. Well, this past summer I found him on Myspace and emailed him. He wrote back that he was no longer a JW and was so much happier now. I was glad to see that he was no longer part of the cult. I am sure his parents are also very happy.

James is a great person and is probably one of the kindest persons I have ever met. He would do anything for his family and loved ones. I wish we could have remained friends, but I have accepted that we probably never will be friends. When I think back to the Caroline I was when we were married I see how much I have changed. It's like I am a completely different person. I think the one person that can really see this change is Lynilu. We became friends a year before James and I separated and she really was able to see my whole transition. We should have her do a guest post sometime about the Caroline back in 2000. I would really love to hear someones opinion that had a front row seat to all the changes I went through.

And that my friends is the story of James and me.


Sandra said...

You were two young kids under the grip of a controlling religion, but you're both away from it now. It would be nice if you two could be friends. If he read the nice words you just wrote about him, I'll bet he'd like to be friends.

Renaissance Woman said...

I'm sure that was a hard time for everybody. But sounds like James has found a happy life and that you finally found yourself. Yeah!!!! For all of you.

Arial Ray said...

What's good is that you can both enjoy a friendship now. What's even better is that all the changes you've seen are a result of you waking up to who you really are, and that's amazing. I'm still on the other end of that tunnel, just starting to move through.

Lynilu said...

James is a good person. I'm not sure he was stable during that time, but perhaps it was the stress. Given time, perhaps a friendship could develop. I don't know. I think the good thing is that you both just survived the religious trauma.

Hmm. I'll give some thought to that idea of a guest post. Get back with you!

Monogram Queen said...

I think Sandra hit the nail on the head... every step in our journey of life serves a purpose...