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.