Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Theory about Marriage and Orientation

Hey, all! Here is my theory about orientation, religion, and marriage. I don't intend to offend anyone; this is a sensitive subject, and I know that the patterns I've seen may not hold true for everyone. I just want to share the pattern I've seen so far and ask for the insights of others. So you know, I'm an active Mormon. I'm feminine enough that I often relate better to women than men, but I've always identified as a man, and I've always been attracted to women.

First of all, I think an important step to integrating Mormonism with same-sex orientation is to separate action from attraction. Elder Dallin H. Oaks has discussed this at length, and Josh Weed explained that this was one reason he could be happy in a heterosexual marriage: he's physically attracted to men, but he sacrificed a sex life based on physical attraction so he could be married to his female best friend, who he has an excellent relationship with. Many people seem to be able to make their sexual orientation a less important part of their identity.

Based on Josh Weed's blog post and other stories I've read, as well as talking with several people, I think that emotional attraction is more important for a happy marriage than physical attraction. Physical attraction helps a lot, of course, but some people are able to make a relationship work with a primarily emotional connection. Nick Norman wrote, ""To enter into a relationship with a young woman, when I could never truly care for her as she needed, would be deceptive and wrong." On the other hand, Josh Weed bonded with his wife more deeply he had than with any man.

So, here's my theory: I think that, in spite of a physical, sexual orientation towards the same gender, some people have an "emotional orientation" or emotional bond with someone of the opposite gender that makes a heterosexual, LDS marriage possible. Obviously, it would be a sacrifice, and I don't think everyone has the opposite-sex emotional connection for it. I just think that sexual and emotional attraction are not the same thing.


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