Jim Cobabe

                                                                              Feb 23, 2001 13:35 PST 



  I've thought this was perhaps a good point to just pass over, but it

  sticks in my mind. Since Kathy and Ruth are already furious at me,

  might as well air it out.


  I know my exwife resorted to many deceitful things to rationalize her

  divorce. I want you to know that none of them justified that

  destructive action. Not one.


  Divorce is what destroyed my family. I was not any kind of sexual

  predator, pornography addict, crazed axe-murdering madman, or

  destructively abusive husband or father. Colleen falsely characterized

  me as being all of these. My admitted myriad individual sins and

  weaknesses were responsible for a part of the failure of my marriage,

  but it was exclusively her choice to divorce. She took every resort she

  could think of to gain advantage in the divorce lawsuit, including

  flagrant embellishment and outright fabrication of horror stories about

  my depravity. This precluded any opportunity for either of us to take

  remedial action. It was her divorce, on her terms--she bears the final



  Associating my sins with her unjustified action indicates a fundamental

  misinterpretation of the obligations we accept in taking temple

  covenants upon ourselves. The presumed unrighteousness of a partner

  does not give anyone the right to break their own promises to God. Nor

  does it justify further compounding the wrongdoing in the effort to

  serve personal desires.


  In the longer view, it does not matter anyway. The "eternal" part of

  temple marriage is only a potential. If we fail to do our part in the

  temporal world to realize this potential, a temple marriage is no

  different than any other. At the point where she claimed God had

  revealed to her in the temple that she should divorce me, our marriage

  was effectively ended, regardless of other circumstances.


  I don't know what Colleen believed about my personal worthiness, because

  I obviously never knew how to judge when she was being dishonest. But I

  know that she falsified or misrepresented many of the stories she

  related about me to my church leaders. Because of my own incapacity at

  the time, I was unable to offer a defense. (They might have had the

  courtesy to _ask_.) As a result, she had their unqualified support.


  Of course, perhaps if they had held views similar to some that have been

  expressed here about the heinous nature of my pornography crimes, she

  would not have needed to embellish the stories too much. They would

  probably have urged her to divorce and rid herself of my devilish person

  for good. I suppose, had that been the case, there would have been a

  disciplinary court. I suggested this myself to my stake president at

  one time, but he apparently was not so inclined.


  If we had it to do over, I would not have attempted the legal recourse

  to press for my father's rights. It would have saved much time and

  money and grief if I had simply abandoned those hopes immediately. I

  started with three strikes against me--a legal system that presumes men

  guilty, an established feminazi support group for any woman who wants to

  claim she was abused, and an abiding and compelling social stigma

  against mental illness.


  Hindsight isn't worth much, in this instance.



  Jim Cobabe