For me, giving my whole heart to Josh while knowing that he did not love me the way a man loves a woman has always been devastating. We were best friends, but he never desired me, he never adored me, he never longed for me.
No matter how much I knew “why” he couldn’t respond to me in the ways a lover responds to a partner, it wears a person down, as if you’re not “good enough” to be loved “in that way.” And what I didn’t realize is that as human beings, we actually need to feel loved in that way with our partners.
This deficit started to mess with my self-esteem. […] No matter how clear I was on the technicalities of this reality, it was impossible not to internalize his complete lack of attraction toward me. Subconsciously, it was a constant message. You aren’t attractive. You aren’t wanted. You aren’t beautiful. You aren’t a good enough woman.
It was making me unhealthy. I gained a lot of weight. My self-concept was diminishing over time.
That’s Lolly Weed, writing a segment in Josh Weed’s heartfelt piece describing the end of their high-profile mixed-orientation marriage.
Early in the piece, Josh recounted the “three currents” that led to the demise of their marriage:
First: Love for the LGBTQ population
Second: Love of self as a gay person
Now, if you have read the above-linked piece, and if you’re like me, you probably anticipated #3:
Third: The realization that this marriage is slowly crushing Lolly’s soul, and that her happiness also matters.
But, if (like me!) you guessed that, then (like me!) you guessed wrong!!
Nope, it was:
Third: the death of [Josh’s] mom.
Ummm, Okaaaaaay… So your realization that the marriage was hurting Lolly (as described above) didn’t even come in fourth or something…?
The other disturbing bit is the following, (again quoting Lolly):
Almost everyone has said to me, with an air of protective emphasis, “Oh, but Lolly, you deserve to be loved that way! You will find someone else who can love you like that. You deserve to love and be loved in that way!” And I agree with them. The thing that I find interesting is that these are all straight people looking at me, another straight person, and being able to see the injustice of me not experiencing true love.
I mean, isn’t the same true for LGBT people? Shouldn’t we feel the exact same intuitive injustice at the thought of them deserving to be “loved like that”?
Yes, of course we should (and many do). But here’s the problem: This is a personal piece about your feelings about your marriage. Your marriage contains exactly zero (0) gay people who have never been “loved like that.” Josh obviously faced a number of profound challenges in your marriage, but failure to be the object of true romantic love isn’t one of them.
Lolly, if you are reading this, I find it disheartening that — the one part of this story that’s about you — you can’t just let it be about you. You have to immediately pivot to concern about other people’s needs. It’s as if you’ve been profoundly conditioned to believe that your needs always have to take a backseat to everyone else’s needs; that you think you fundamentally don’t matter.
Lolly, I hope you find the love you deserve. You are probably well aware that unfortunately — as a Mormon single mom — your chances of finding your new soul-mate are a lot lower than Josh’s. But you know what? Even if you never find true love, you’re still better off getting out of the situation you described: the marriage that is strangling your spirit.
Josh’s whole post describes a path of learning a truly beautiful love and empathy for LGBTQIA people. You both have developed a great understanding of the beauty and humanity of queer folks. Which is why the treatment of Lolly’s experience in the piece is so jarring.
Well, Lolly — you’re not the co-star of Josh’s adventure anymore. You’re the star of your own adventure now. Let me help you get started: