Tag Archives: marriage

Bipolar Mate

16 Apr

I noticed that a post about bipolar depression was on my recently read list (I’m suspicious that person was looking for bisexual) and everything has changed since then.  The post was really frustrated and worried and helpless.  So I thought I should write an update.

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Bipolar is still in both Cool and my daily lives.  Each day, we go through mood numbers verbally to check in with each other.  We rate mood, energy, anxiety, irritability, and love.

Mood is from 1 (suicidal) to 10 (manic psychosis).  Luckily, those numbers hang around 5 (average) to 4 (blah) and 6 (feeling real good) mostly.

Energy is ranked from usually 3 (dozing off) to 7 (fidgety, hyped-up, restless).

Anxiety and irritability are ranked 0 (none) to 3 (very bad).

We add our love points for the day (how many hugs, verbal I<3Us, etc).

The whole scale sounds a lot more complicated than it is, and when you do it every day, it goes really fast.  Lately, we’ve been going through our numbers when we do our 1 min wall-sit.

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Aside from just keeping tabs better on a day to day basis, we have this binder.  Which has been a real life-saver.  In it, we have the various cycles that a bipolar person can experience:  Mania, depression, anxiety, mixed, flat, etc, etc…  Anything that changes the above numbers and may come with symptoms.  Cool writes each paper, with me contributing input and helping brainstorm.

Here’s an abridged version of what one might look like:

Mania

-everything moves too slow

-half-assing chores

-unfocused/distracted

-selfish

-bigger fashion risks

-more talkative

this usually goes on for 20-ish things that usually happen during Cool’s specific mania.  This is a key point–it’s not just symptoms out of a book.  We’ve paid attention to many manias over time, and noted the things she personally goes through.

And when I start to notice things are off, or symptoms are ramping up, I will tell her to get the binder.  And she will read each thing and say yes or no it’s happening right now.  And I count as she does.  Then at the end, we see the percent.

Exp:  She has 8 symptoms of 24 commonly experienced on her list.  8/24= 33%

Which on a science exam is not a lot, but considering it’s a third of all the symptoms she gets that we could think of, it’s enough to necessitate a medication change, and for sure to employ some strategies.

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That’s the 2nd part of each of those pages.  For each page with a list of feelings and behaviors common to Cool’s specific cycling, we have 1 full of strategies known to help her.  These were taken from books, forums, and anywhere else she could find.  The more the better.  Then, it was just about her trying them, practicing them, and sticking with them and adding more until relief of symptoms.

So that might look like:

Depression Help

-watch a comedy

-go for a long walk

-call someone to talk

-wear favorite outfit

-pet the kitties

-play a game

And really, it comes down to medication.  But using the strategies give us both some sense of control and something we can at least try.  And we both think the more she practices the strategies, the more they help her feel better.

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So those are two huge things that have made a big difference for Cool’s mental health, my stress levels, and our relationship as a whole.  We are working as a team, and things are going pretty well most of the time.

Mary-Married

23 Feb

When I talked to my Mom on the phone this week, she was telling me Del Minor (Mary’s mom) died at the beginning of the month.  Shaun (Mary’s gossipy sister-in-law) was being all shady when my mom asked when the funeral was going to be.  Obviously, Del was a central figure in our town and my mom knew her and thus wanted to pay her respects.  But after asking Shaun a couple of times and being told noncommittal answers my parents saw in the news that the funeral had taken place—2 days prior.  So I guess our family was blacklisted, which is shitty, though they probably could have looked in the news or talked to someone else about the date and time if they had really wanted to go.  But oh well.

 

So that night, I looked online to read the obituary.  And there it was—they listed the survivors.  And they listed them as couples.  There was several of Mary’s older siblings, then Tom (Mary’s brother) and his wife Shaun.  Then last in oldest to youngest order:  Mary Minor and this new name- Sandra __________.  At first I thought it was some kind of typo—they put one of Del’s sibs next to her youngest child’s name accidentally.  Because the Mary I know would never have her private life broadcast.  Especially if the town of Dayton was to see it.  Plus, how in the world would she even be with anyone?!

 

But I looked up the gal’s name online—and sure enough, there was not only a marriage announcement of Mary and this gal-but a picture!  I still would have doubted t, just because it was so out of character for Mary.  I mean, this is the person, who when I realized I was gay at the tender age of 18, she took my in the bathroom at work, with the fan on, and asked that I not tell her secret.  No regard for what I must have been feeling, how shell-shocked I might be–just ‘don’t tell anyone that she’s gay.’  But they blog supplemented the announcement with a picture.  So I knew without a doubt it was the same Mary I knew (past tense intentional).  Also, this Tahoe wedding happened in 2013? So I’m way behind the scene.  Which is good, because thinking about Mary and the cabin-mansion makes me feel icky inside and makes me have nightmares.  I had even asked my mom not to share the gossip she gleaned from Shaun or the community, because I don’t want to think about that part of my life.  And I guess that was necessary because even though Mary saw Shaun as an enemy when I knew her, Shaun must have gotten the picture that we are not on good terms, so she stopped sharing any information with my mom–she didn’t know.  And as much as I don’t like to think about those dark times, and dark characters, part of me wished I would have known—just for curiosity’s sake.

 

Obviously, a lot has changed.  The Mary I knew was an absolute PILL because she was such a closet-case.  Like, Kim and her were together for 6 years or something when they moved together to Dayton, and Mary was so secretive that she wouldn’t wear their ring on her left hand.  And when they moved neighborhoods, they did it at night—to escape prying eyes.  She never acknowledged who Kim was—even though it was fairly obvious.

 

Also Mary was a MESS when I went back in 2009.  Her and Kim were pretty over.  Mary played the part of the Godfather.  Cold and calculating and in control of the people around her and the information exchanged.  She was cheating with the hairdresser.  She invited me there, gave me my job back, then scapegoated me–I suspect because I knew too much and I was not an adequate replacement for her dead niece Brenna.  She was such an awful person at that time that I questioned if she had ever been a good influence in my life.  Had she always had sketchy ethics and I had been too naive to see it?  All I knew is that I was disillusioned and never wanted to have her in my life again.  When she subscribed to my Facebook page (really stupid because FB notifies you) I blocked her.  Just so she doesn’t exsist anywhere in my life.  And I would be horrified if I ran into her (which is highly plausible in a small town) when visiting my parents.  So with all those feelings, and my insider knowledge at least of that time in her life, it’s hard to imagine she’s OK enough now to attract a new girlfriend—let alone someone who wants to marry her.

 

And the fact the marriage was posted online and done in Tahoe was completely different from the Mary I knew.  I come back to it, jst because it astounds me.  I guess she’s grown as a person, so that’s good for her.  I can’t help but wonder if she’s alright now, or just the same shit-head with a new wife to treat badly and make disappear.  Mary has a way of dominating and being Godfather that makes other disappear.  She controls those in her inner circle, hides things from those outside, and annihilates those she deems enemies–however small their perceived infraction.  I say perceived, because Mary herself knows a few of those people were only defending themselves against her attacks–they didn’t do anything to warrant her wrath.  I have to wonder-Would we have animosity or see 2009 as a bad scene for both of us?  Water under the bridge or enemies forever?  I really don’t know, but her seemingly new outlook on life makes me wonder.

 

Also, does Kim know?  Is she coherent enough to?  Do Mary and her talk or hate one another?  And what does Mary see their relationship as?  A mistake?  Or does she see that she choked the life out of Kim, squashed her spirit until nothing but alcoholic coping and emptiness were left?  Kim probably had a genetic predisposition, and Mary fostered those drinking ways, but in the end, I think the seclusion and control are what really did Kim in.  And nows she’s just a shell of who she used to be.  I feel sorry about that, yet I don’t talk to her either, because there’s just nothing there.

 

I had so many questions!  And the whole thing gave me just icky feelings of remembrance.  One thing you can count on Dayton for is gossip.  I’ll hear eventually.

Things. . . Snowballed

22 Jan

I’m so funny–did you SEE that pun?!  But Sunday, I wasn’t really laughing.

thumbs up posterCool found an article about an EZ-123 pass in the area.  Four different ski resorts were participating and you could choose the one you wanted.  They offered, 3 lessons, WITH rental of all equipment (board, boots, bindings, goggles, helmet), and 3 lift tickets good for the whole day for just $79!  I thought that was a steal, considering the times I went snowboarding at the Tahoe resorts were in April (post-season, when snow wasn’t optimal) when lift tickets were discounted.  And lessons–forget it!  Unless you were with 4H or something, lessons were impossibly expensive in Tahoe, so I only had 1 ski lesson when I was 9 years old and part of the 4H ski club.  And when the rental places were hungry for ANY business after the season was virtually over, so you paid substantially less.  But still WAY above the deal Cool found.

And we are trying to get involved in a more healthy, active lifestyle.  And planning on moving to snow-sport Telluride ski resort mtncountry, Colorado.  And I’m trying to have a little fun in my life instead of all school-work-prepare drudgery.  So I was for it!  And I had a total meltdown on Saturday after work, which made Cool have a bad day, and that caused US to be completely out of sorts.  So we needed some fun on Sunday, and planned on going to the 10:30 AM lesson.

They want you to be there an hour early, and somehow we were running a little behind.  So we arrived in a sort of rush to make the class (you remember my lateness phobia).  We paid, got our passes, and were told to go to the last door for our rentals.  They fitted our boots and handed us the snowboards, and we hustled to the learning center.  Everyone else had goggles, and some had helmets.  I don’t know where they got those or how we missed them, but oh well–we made it.  And in Tahoe, helmets aren’t really a “thing” I guess because my friends and I never wore them, we didn’t wear them with elementary 4H, and I don’t think I ever Steamboat Resort skisaw ANYone on the slopes wearing one.  So though it seems like a safe thing to do, I wasn’t alarmed that we weren’t wearing helmets. . .

Our lesson had 12-15 people, mostly kids.  And kids learn quickly, have no fear, and jump right back up if they fall.  So it’s not a fair comparison to adults.  And I’ve never had official lessons, or really snowboarded, but I went 2-3 brief times with friends growing up, so I’d at least been on the snow–so I wasn’t a fair comparison either.  Cool struggled.  As you do as a 30-something learning a new physical task.  She needed to go slower, but she didn’t do any worse then expected for her very first time on the snow.  These things require practice, patience, heart–and good humor.

I was caught in between–trying to follow the speedy class, but also wait for struglasaurus-Cool.  The instructors Easter 015kept telling me to do whatever, but I had to hang back and almost disobey because Cool would be waaaay behind and not know what we were supposed to be doing.  So I was pressured to be a fair bit below her on the hill.  And she crab-walked down one time, did some falling and crawling, so it wasn’t alarming to see her crumpled when I looked back at her.  But she might be hurt?  Cool normally has a very low pain threshold, and her anxiety kicks in making her a little bit of a hypochondriac.  So I figured she was just being a baby about a normal fall.  Or tired.  Or slow to get up, or frustrated and giving up or something.  I tried to motion to her with thumbs up vs thumbs down, but she only half-way responded.  And she was too far away to be certain what gesture she returned.  And one of our instructors looked to be talking with her, so I figured she was receiving some coaching.

Then, they were both walking down the mountain in the direction of the first aid center.  Uh oh, so I followed them in to see what was happening.  And I had to un-do my bindings and ditch my board, so I was behind.  When I got inside, 3 women and a man were securing Cool to a backboard.  Fuck!  Of course we should have rainbow 5gone back for the helmets.  Cool has a history of injury.  Her mom had been adamant that if she tried snow-sports she would break an ankle, and had tried to dissuade her.  She didn’t look terrible to me, but I wasn’t certain what happened.  I had obviously missed something. . .  The first aid was serious, I could see these people meant business.  And I frantically signed to her “money?!”  And tried to mouth, “How much does this cost?!”  But there was a lot happening and she was distracted and she said “Free.”  Which I was dubious about.  But who was I to step in and tell these people to give us a moment to discuss things?  The law does not consider me Cool’s legit family, and they could kick me out of the room all-together if they wanted.  So I had to just stand there watching and wondering and worrying.

They strapped her in, loaded her on a hospital bed, and began assessing her status.  Unfortunately, I had reminded Cool to take her 6(?) bipolar/anxiety meds before we went.  So of course, her pupils were dilated.  And her meds ALWAYS make her foggy headed so when they asked her to remember 3 items to evaluate head trauma–of course, she forgot the 3rd.  But that’s her normal.  I was still 90% certain she had just taken a normal fall–not sustained any severe injury.  And Cool is a passive petal.  If pressed strongly enough, Cool will just go with the flow, do what she is told, and think about what SHE wants or the consequences afterward.  That’s Cool’s normal as well.  So she was just being compliant, not really thinking about the finances, or what the backboard meant, or the things I was freaking out about.

Snowboard Emx 2014 018

After about 20 minutes, the 12 people (this was code red stuff) began asking if Cool had any family, or a friend or something) with her.  And right away she told them her mate.  Which, is our term for US because I reject the term “partner” because it sounds too business-like and stiff.  But they apparently, didn’t know what the hell she was talking about (more ammunition for the brain damage theory) and since we are not legally-anything, she had to say “girlfriend.”  Which I HATE.  We have so much more to our relationship then mere dating.  It’s a horrible thing to have to deal with gay stigma in a crises situation.

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It made me really annoyed when they confirmed with me, “You’re her friend?”  And I was like, “Mate,” all exasperated.  The head doctor guy told me about the pupils and said Cool had complained of neck pain and wrist pain (and stomach tenderness, sore feet, as well as head-constriction discomfort) and they couldn’t rule out brain injury because of her non-responsive demeanor, pupil-size, and forgetting that 3rd word.  I tried to explain that was Cool’s norm.  This was just her personality and meds.  He said an ambulance was on the way, and immediately I said, “No, no, no, under no circumstance could we afford an ambulance ride–I can drive her.”  And he said 1)  She was on a backboard and was not getting off of it–he would absolutely not release her.  2)  He wanted to make ultra-sure she was OK (CYA) 3) tried to downplay the expense because she has health insurance.  To which I was like, what–health insurance doesn’t cover 100% and we were now looking at ambulance + emergency room + any diagnostics, not including any treatments if they were in fact warrented.  He persisted that he would not release her, but I could talk to the ambulance people and sign a liability waiver–which I said I would love to do.  But I knew I had no legal right and SHE would have to be the one to sign it.

Snowboard Emx 2014 017

Then, I finally was able to get within Cool’s vicinity (since the 100 people had dispersed, and people realized I was “legit”) to talk to her for the first time.  Cool was in invalid mode, with an oxygen mask and the whole bit and I leaned in and started telling her she had to speak for herself and deny the ambulance that was on its way.  I think it was the first time she realized where this injury was taking her, and the first time money really entered into her mind.  I felt like all the medical staff surrounding us felt like I was unsympathetic–but I know Cool.  I know her hypochondriac stuff, her finances, and how she doesn’t THINK until later.  And I figured if she was legit-hurt, I could drive us down the mountain and we’d go from there.  But I also felt like I had no legal right to step in.  As Cool’s closest relative–that this incident is going to directly impact–that felt awful.

An hour after the call, the ambulance arrived.  And they loaded Cool onto a gurney and arranged for me to drive her car along behind.  I was helpless.  I guess Cool decided she wanted to go to emergency on the ambulance–and if that’s what she wanted (despite the consequences) I had no right to say otherwise.  Part 2:  Emergency.  That’s tomorrow–stay tuned.

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Bi-Crying

6 Jun

I wasn’t certain if I should write so personal a post.  But keeping it private makes it feel like a dirty secret.  And no one has done anything wrong, so I am going to be open about what’s going on with us (me and Cool).  Plus, this is a huge part of my life right now.  Pretty much everything else takes a back seat to it.

This week, all Cool does is cry.  It tears my heart out when she sobs and tells me it feels like HER heart is breaking.  I never know what to do, aside from encourage her to take action to change her situation.  I pressure her into making phone calls, going to her doctor, doing the depression exercises in her bipolar book, going for a walk.  And this only adds pressure to a person having trouble getting out of bed, and ends up making her feel worse.  It amounts to frustration for both of us, because EVERYthing is harder when Cool’s mood is 2-4 out of 10.  I’m afraid to leave her by herself.  Of course, that stuff tends to be catchy–it makes me feel bad and hopeless when Cool’s mood spirals downward.  And it seems like she’s depressed more often then not in the last year.

Money becomes a huge problem.  Like she owes me an amount higher then I like.  Her parents never taught her financial responsibility.  Also, she gave up a well-paying job to move–for me.  And her anxiety forced her out of a decent paying job.  And I don’t want to contribute or enable her, but a lot of her consequences lead right back to ME.  For example, if I DON’T pay her half of the rent–it also affects MY lease and credit and living situation.  So I am forced to when she can’t afford it.  If she couldn’t pay the internet–I lose mine too.  And when her cat is sick and I work at a vet hospital–what else am I going to do but take it to work with me?  And she HAS to go to the doctor, whether or not she can afford the exam fee.  And she has a birthday coming up. . .  So I feel stuck, and used, and resentful.

Though I would have all these bills in full, if I was single and on my own anyway.  And because I could only afford to pay them by working full time, school would not even be an option for me.  So I can I be SUPER-upset Cool is having difficulty with money right now?  And it’s so unfortunate, because she likes her current job, and it’s one of the only work situations her psyche can handle. . .  However, they don’t give her enough hours or pay her enough so that she can keep up with her bills.  But don’t let me paint this picture like she’s a totally apathetic user:  She IS selling her plasma as much as they let her (for $$$$) and looking for a job with more hours, and even applied to a call-center, which she HATES more then anything.  This is a major influencing factor of why she became this depressed in the first place.  Money.

Motivation (lack of it) is already an issue, but is exaggerated during any bipolar cycling.  Like I mentioned earlier–Cool can hardly do anything but sleep when she’s depressed.  So when her (skum-bag) car company takes extra money out of her account (that she can’t afford) it takes a LOT of nagging and badgering on my part to get her to contact them to fix it.  Calling the doctor–becomes a task that is nearly impossible for her.  She can’t seem to say the right things when she does talk to someone, and isn’t all that rational in her state.  So when she gets the (inevitable) brush-off from the receptionist, she doesn’t describe how bad the situation is, and ask to be squeezed in, ask to TALK to the doctor over the phone, or check if she can change the dosage of something.  Cool will just say, “. . .  OK. . .”  and wait longer for the needed appointment.  Chores?  Not even worth the nagging when everything else is a fight and more important.  Forget it.  Everything become a big struggle.

Can Cool’s mood ever get stabilized?  I feel like we are constantly dealing with the bipolar issues.  It’s exhausting.  I would never leave a person JUST for being sick.  The only reason I mention it at all, is I feel like other people think that is the best solution for me.  I realize she cannot help it, and she does try to fix things.  Cool ALWAYS takes all of her meds as directed and tries to do everything she is supposed to.  And that in itself is expensive.  One psychiatrist’s appointment alone is $250.  But I can’t help but feel that outsiders looking into our relationship think I should give up and leave.  Would those people leave their spouse if cancer or M.S. were diagnosed?  I hope to never get involved with a person like THAT.  Breaking-up with Cool is NOT what I want at all.  She is the best person in my life, she’s just going through a rough patch.  I do LOVE real Cool (when she’s of a normal or high mood) and I know she loves me, but her depression really takes it’s toll on everyone. . .

Secret Exposed.  It feels good.

My Lost Wedding

19 May

I just finished Dan Savage’s The Commitment.  I’m really not all into the politics of gay-marriage, I bought the book because I saw Dan Savage on a documentary once and thought he made hilarious comments.  I would have read anything he wrote based on his interviews.  But I found the marriage book first at Auntie’s Bookstore downtown and plucked it off the shelf.

As I’ve said before, I think the fair political thing to do is get rid of ALL marriage benefits through state and federal government.  With separation of church and state, it’s not a very legal practice anyway.  And the discriminatory/religious aspect of the whole controversy would be null and void. But you’ve already heard all of that.  Today I want to get more personal.

Every little girl is taught to dream of her special day from the time she is a tiny-tron.  This is creepy and hertro-sexist, but I once was a little girl too.  I was not immune from this indoctrination.  I once wanted a beautiful lavender and light green wedding, white dress, and family and friends gathered amongst many flowers to watch me marry (a man). The destruction of this aspiration, was (embarrassing to admit) one of the worst things about coming out as gay.  I knew as a gay I could never have this–not really.

Firstly, 2 women getting married are going to offend someone, whereas straight couples may not be a good match for each other, but their ceremony won’t inspire acrimony, hate, and controversy in the way the gays will.  I could not image my family OR friends (from my small, rural childhood town) getting on board with my gay ceremony in the way they would if I married a man. For example, my Aunt married her FIRST cousin, which is gross to me, and SHE has the audacity to post anti-gay marriage sentiment on her Facebook wall.  Secondly, everything about the wedding would be off.  Weddings are highly traditional (read-antiquated) affairs that are highly scripted.  Bride wears fancy dress.  Groom wears tux.  Bride is given away by her father.  Groom has groomsmen.  These things have to change if you have the same gender–so automatically any wedding is all weird and different. Most importantly (unfortunately) nothing changes when 2 gays get “married.”  Even if marriage is recognized in their own state–it’s not like straight who can travel anywhere in the world and still be considered a couple.  And the gays don’t get the same legal marriage benefits.  Not to mention the whole churchy thing.  Gay marriage/commitment is hardly the same as “real” marriage.

I just had to give up that dream, difficult as it was at the time.  And the closer I got to accepting the truth that I would never have that dream wedding, the less I even wanted it.  I especially don’t like the whole ownership aspect of marriage.  I do not want to belong to anyone–and would never change my last name to reflect my new “ownership.”  My name has been my identity my whole life.  Not only would I not want to be stripped of that, I could never be excited about it, because that is what society has taught me from a young age.  Besides Cool is much too lazy and financially irresponsible to help pull off such a big occasion.  It would never happen even if I DID believe in it.  And speaking of money–the whole affair is a rip-off.  By changing my mind about wedding dreams I saved myself a HUGE amount of money!  I could write a whole ‘nother post about the politics of wedding prices–it’s disgusting.

But the book was good.  And I could still go for a cake, flowers sprinkled in champagne, an opal ring, and a bunch of gifts. . .  Maybe some sort of anniversary party?  No still controversial.  I know–I’ll have a loft-warming party one day!!!

 

No More Marriage–Outside of Church

29 Mar

Brace yourself:  I am about to opine an unpopular point of view–even if it causes a revolution (which I can only hope it does).  I have always been iconoclast in sharing my opinions, and am not afraid to come under scrutiny here.  My nonconformist belief is directed at the entire idea of marriage–it makes me so mad!  I take great umbrage at the fact we are conditioned from the time we are nascent, to want our wedding, marry a prince, and live happily ever after (only after said marriage).  I resent the fact patriarchal institutions have such a strong-hold over our dreams.  As a second part of this indoctrination, we are told from an incipient age that we should not have sex until after this big day.  These inculcations are so completely ingrained that we believe that we are not whole until after marrying our opposite sex counterpart.  How disgusting (for women, especially) that we feel incomplete until we coalesce (with a man)?

Weddings are a huge money-maker.  Attach the word and it’s an automatic 60% added to the price tag.  Prodigal spending on the brides side is mandatory.  Never mind the dress can never be worn again, the food is perishable and eaten quickly, and the flowers will die within the week–these items come at a premium price!  And they are essential to the bride’s overall life-long happiness.  Weddings are like Valentine’s Day on steroids.  They are an antiquated tradition meant to induce profligate spending.  Women are taught that this is their “special day,” the most important day of their entire lives.  The expectation is they must pay, pay, pay for everything to be perfect.  Weddings are good for patriarchy, because they generate capitalism (and for many other reasons–don’t EVEN get me started on the ownership of women), which is just wonderful for supporting the establishment.

This revolt of mine has not always been in place.  I, like most other girls, longed for my big wedding day, and even contemplated colors and stuff.  I have just recently begun to think I do not agree with the concept of marriage at all.  Don’t blame my parents–they have been happily married for 25+ years, so I am hardly a bitter product of divorce.  I find it incredibly estimable that they love each other and are able to work through life’s struggles together.  I think it’s admirable when couples are able to HAPPILY stay together.  That is an increasingly rarefied example.  I am not cynical towards marriage because it has been proven not to work, time and time again.  With deference to those who beat the odds, I must acknowledge the statistics of the poor success rate of marriage, because they say a lot.  The fact marriage in practice is only a remnant of what it is supposed to be, should take the wind out of the proponents’ sails.  Marriage as a traditional, holy, sacrosanct institution is deeply flawed.  Quick-E-Marriages *cough* Nevada *cough* adultery, domestic abuse, polygamy, swinging, etc. . .  Has tarnished that image, leaving only a vestige of the original intent and sentiment.  However, the 50% plus divorce rate, and many, many examples of real-life failing coupes (lots and lots for the record) I have encountered don’t even factor into my argument.

I don’t withhold the obligatory panegyric to all that is marriage, because it is a religious notion with supposedly unbiased America backing it up financially.  Married couples have every reason to have an effective partnership–they are given tax privilege, joint insurance, child-raising benefits, ownership and inheritance rights, the list goes on and on (1400 state and federal advantages in all).  Check out http://www.religioustolerance.org/mar_bene.htm for a more comprehensive list.  I want the state to abolish benefits and funding for all existing marriages.  This double standard is obviously biased and an axiomof hatred.  That is really the unfair aspect of recognized marriages.  Let people go to their church as man and women, have the big ceremony as a religious experience, and then leave it at that.  Church (and only church) recognizes marriages.  There, no moral conflicts with the gays, but also no unfair advantages!

As for “the gays”:  I am not picketing for the gays to have the right to marry, or the diluted “domestic partnership,” or “civil union.” I find those two concepts a matter of politicking and think these titles are just another way of shrewdly furthering the reach of patriarchy by diplomatically offering a counter-offer to quell those questioning the entrenched prejudice that is marriage.  I absolutely scoff at our conservative, religious leaders exploiting gays and lesbians further by offering this “compromise” we are expected to be happy with. I question those gullible enough to believe they are winning some battle when they are (ephemerally) granted the right to civil unions or domestic partnerships in certain states–as if it’s the same concept as marriage.

And speaking of marriage, protecting families, and gays, what about sexual education?  Those who preach abstinence-only sexual education–what about the homos?  Let me get this straight (pun intended):  It is inappropriate to have any kind of sexual relations out of wedlock, BUT same sex couples are denied the right to marry.  So I am supposed to reach adolescence, young adulthood, middle-age, and finally death and never have sex???  In arrogating my right to marry, the religious right has also appropriated my right to have any type of sex in my lifetime?!  Let me repeat this crazy statement so you, my reader, can feel the full impact of it:  Gays and lesbians are never allowed to have sex in their entire lives.  What a neat little package for the world!  They would never have to be shocked and appalled and think of two men engaging in “unseemly” activity.  Wouldn’t that fix everything?!

It’s not just the religious right–though it IS fun to blame everything narrow-minded on them!  The institution of church is fairly dogmatic in their theories about marriage.  And yes, they have a vested interest in supporting all things patriarchal:  Generating money in the form of officiating fees from passionate newlyweds to build bigger and better churches, supporting the traditional family to keep “unruly” minorities marginalized, and delving into the world of politics to dictatorially mandate the entire country to adhere to their views.  No, it’s not just religion to blame for the fact the ideal of marriage is advocated and defended so rigidly.  The media panders to the notion of weddings and its resultant couples too.  Movies such as “Father of the Bride” enforce society’s views on the matter of marriage, by showing just what is acceptable.  Shows like, “Bridezillas,” “My Fair Wedding,” not to mention the entire network devoted to newlyweds further proves how important everyone’s adherence to this inflexible doctrine is.  And don’t forget the results of this couple-hood–TV/movies/media in general hardly shows anything other than the traditional husband/wife model!  Even if a person could manage not to catch any of the afore-mentioned programs by accident–they would have to try pretty hard to miss the commercials, billboards, magazine ads, and internet spam about weddings and about “normal” married couples.

The fact I dare to ask why marriage is a tradition upheld with so much vehemence will create an insurrection.  People will accuse me of cynicism, or worse–hating love!  Going against the norm of this (outdated, flawed) concept is rebellion.  I think I’m right to question the motives of those who want to protect marriage, and the whole concept of marriage itself.  I think an uprising is exactly what is needed.  Right now, you are saying I’m bitter. . .  And crazy.  I think it’s you people (meaning everyone who blindly follows the propaganda of marriage without analysis of what it MEANS) are the ones that are whack.  Yay for the people who want to marry within their religious community purely for the love and commitment you garner.  That’s all you should get though.  Why should the countries laws benefit you more than any other citizen?

In closing, I give much praise to those of you who can make the traditional model of marriage work–just the way God intended.  But for couples who just marry because that is the thing to do, or for monetary reasons, or worse, those that easily get into a marriage then desecrate that spiritual ideal in some way–YOU are mocking the whole institution.  It’s not the gays wrecking marriage it’s the people that get married for the wrong reasons, and it’s the overbearing forces such as capitalism, patriarchy, and prejudice destroying it.

Here is the big solution for all! Allow marriage only to devoted, church-attending, loving couples, and have said ceremony in their particular church.  At the same time, yank all state and federal benefits and funding from all married couples.  Keep marriage in the church, and only in the church–disentangle the whole thing from the United State’s laws.  Think about that.

Why Gay Marriage is Not a Threat to Marriage [not by me]

17 Jan
By Steve Chapman
Nov 5, 2006

It used to be thought that women had no business voting. But when women got the vote, men didn’t suddenly decide their once-exclusive prerogative was worthless. Blacks were once barred from owning property. When the laws changed, whites didn’t suddenly give up buying in favor of renting.

Admitting an excluded group to an institution doesn’t necessarily weaken the institution. When the subject is matrimony, however, self-styled defenders of marriage say that if it isn’t restricted, it will promptly wither and die. They think allowing gays to wed would soon cause heterosexuals to abandon marriage, start propagating offspring out of wedlock and slide into degeneracy.

American treatment of homosexuality has come a long way. Though many people view it as a sin, it’s no longer a crime. Gays and lesbians can now live their lives openly.

Changes like these were unimaginable 50 years ago, but they haven’t led to a collapse of the social order. Yet we are told that allowing homosexuals to join in legally sanctioned unions will reduce Western civilization to a smoking ruin.

That’s one of the chief rationales for efforts to block same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, eight states are offering ballot initiatives against it, and most, if not all, are expected to pass.

Supporters of these bans warn that redefining marriage to include same-sex couples would damage it beyond repair. Maggie Gallagher, head of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, writes that gay marriage would grossly shortchange the needs of children “in order to further adult interests in sexual freedom.”

Now, it will come as a shock to heterosexual couples that marriage can further sexual freedom. But never mind that. As it happens, sodomy laws have been struck down by the Supreme Court. Gays are already at liberty to have commitment-free trysts with members of Congress, evangelical pastors and anyone else they choose. Unfettered sex is already abundantly available to gays who want it.

What same-sex marriage offers, by contrast, is a safe harbor for those who prefer responsible monogamy to free love. It’s not a rejection of the values of traditional marriage — it’s an affirmation.

Gallagher and others say conventional marriage serves to reconcile “the erotic, social, sexual and financial needs of men and women with the needs of their partner and their children.” Funny — that’s also what gay marriage does. It provides a durable framework in which two people can commit themselves to an exclusive sexual relationship while assuring a stable environment for their children.

Gallagher insists that youngsters are better off in a home with both a mother and a father. But thanks in part to liberal divorce laws — which conservatives are not mobilizing to repeal — many children are already deprived of the model family.

Some kids are already being brought up by same-sex partners. Conservatives think children of straight couples are better off if their parents are married. So how can children of gay couples be better off if their parents are not?

The argument that gay marriage will increase family instability by pushing heterosexuals away from marriage is ingenious but unfounded. In this realm, as Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said, a page of history is worth a volume of logic. Some European countries have allowed gays to enter into registered partnerships (which closely resemble marriage) for years, and the results are reassuring.

M.V. Lee Badgett, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, looked at the data from Scandinavia and the Netherlands and found, “Divorce rates have not risen since the passage of partnership laws, and marriage rates have remained stable or actually increased.” It’s true that out-of-wedlock births have risen — but they were rising long before this change, and, reports Badgett, they rose just as fast in the countries that don’t sanction same-sex unions.

William Eskridge Jr. and Darren Spedale document the same patterns in their new book, “Gay Marriage: For Better or For Worse?” And they note that “children in Denmark and Sweden (and the Netherlands) are much more likely to be raised by their parents than American children.” If banning gay marriage is supposed to help American kids, it isn’t working.

There are lots of things that could be done in this country to encourage marriage, prevent divorce and improve the well-being of children. Keeping same-sex couples from the altar is not one of them.