I thought that I could just have a boyfriend to keep my exhusband at bay. A boyfriend like I used to have in college. Go out, date, maybe a good night kiss. But I quickly found out they didn't exist. For the year I was going through my divorce, I wasn't allowed to attend any LDS Singles events. I was even booted off one of the online dating sites because I was honest and said my divorce wasn't finished yet. I made some good LDS friends online, but they were all too far away to date.
But I quickly found out that non-LDS guys wanted more than a kiss goodnight. And my resistance was soooo low. One thing would lead to another, and even if we stopped short of actual sex, I was still hating myself after. I would drop that guy and try to find another, with the same results. Even when I decided I could live with that, the guy wouldn't understand where it needed to stop, and we would end up going all the way.
I went to my bishop, and explained I kept trying, and falling, and just couldn't win this addiction. I was put on probation. I was told he was giving me time to get it together. And that is where things stayed.
I finally was officially divorced and started attending singles events. But this really didn't help. Single Adult guys are remarkably evasive. Especially to a newly divorced woman with kids that needed a husband. Not even casual dates materialized. At least not with anyone I felt safe with. The only good way out would have been to get married again to the first guy that came along, and believe me, I had many chances, but I just couldn't be with someone who was not right for me or my kids. But I was so lonely. I didn't want to fall back into that trap with one night stands. Eventually I settled with one guy, a non-member, but a Friend with Benefits. Someone who I could be with when things got really bad. But someone who had other girls he was seeing and did not want a committment from me. This left me free to live my own life. Attend church and singles activities, accept any dates that came up, and not be tied down.
This went on for a while. But occasionally my friend would try a relationship, and I was not one to cheat with him, even if those promises meant nothing to him. If the girlfriend lasted long enough, I would end up getting in trouble again. I didn't want that, so I started looking for other options.
Along this time, I also read "The Sin 'Next to Murder' " https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/143-34-43.pdf I had been wondering how I could be such a bad person, but still be recieving all this inspiration from the Lord regarding jobs he had for me in the singles program. I realized I was not a bad person, God still loved me, and understood. I began to realize that adultery and fornication really were two different things, and the one was not nearly as serious. I still tried to be as good as possible, but felt I could stay active in the church without feeling condemned. I didn't want to fall away from the church, but I did realize that just because one man thought something and taught it as doctrine, didn't mean it came from Heavenly Father. I was supposed to ponder and pray and decide on my own. I pretty much decided when in doubt, I would go back to what Joseph Smith taught. And he did say that there were many things of this world that he couldn't tell us yet, that would cause us to fall away from the church. I think this is because so many people brought what they believed from their own churches into ours, that if we differed too radically, they couldn't believe it.
At this time I really started looking at polygamy. I was starting to understand it. After all, I had a sudo-boyfriend that I couldn't be jealous of, even caring for him like I did. I was finally understanding how a woman could allow her husband to have more than one wife. I was also seeing that if a woman and man (Mary and John) had children under the temple covenant, and then John died, and this happened with another sealed family (Susan and Steve) and then Susan died, and then Mary and Steve got married (sealed) and had kids this could cause problems in the next life. After all, Mary and Steve still loved their first spouse. But if the couples could accept polygamy and share, Mary could be with both John and Steve, and John could be with both Susan and Mary, and everyone could be happy. Radical thinking, I know. Not something most Mormons like to imagine.
I had never gotten along with the girls in my high school. And only made a few girl friends once I was married (having given up all my guy friends at that time like a good wife). So girls still terrified me in some ways. I wanted to overcome that. The scriptures told us we needed to be able to accept that "new and everlasting covenant" (i.e. polygamy) in order to make it to the celestial kingdom. Not live it necessarily, but at least understand and accept it. How in the world was one supposed to do that?
I decided that I should try it. Find a woman who was willing to share her man, and discover what it was all about. I can't remember now exactly how it came about, but I began talking to couples who were looking for that "unicorn". The single woman to join them. But it solved my problem. They didn't want someone who would destroy their relationship. I was free to live my own life and leave if I found someone with whom I wanted a relationship. To me, I had to care for them, it had to mean something, too. The whole point was I didn't want one night stands. Eventually I found a man who was not controlling, and his committed partner who was active in her church and easy to get along with. Not being married, I didn't even have to question if it was adultery or not. She even had LDS swinger friends. We hit it off. I remember the first night, we had a nice dinner at their house, and took time to get to know each other. I ended up staying. When we began, she asked what I wanted to do, and I said, "No offense, (to the man), but I know I am ok with guys, I need to see if I can do this with a woman too." And she said, "No problem" and leaned forward to kiss me. It was just like kissing a guy. I was not attracted really to either of them, but I enjoyed our times together. There was no stress, no jealousy, just enjoyment, love, and pleasure. They are happy for me when I am in a relationship, we will always be friends. I imagine when it is the way it is supposed to be, this is the way polygamy should be.
It was very hard for me at one time to understand why the Lord would tell me to marry someone knowing I would end up in divorce. I almost went inactive then, and obviously almost did several times since. But I have always remained faithful and tried to make the best choice that was available to me. The lesser of two evils, so to speak. I don't feel that the Lord has penalized me for any of my choices. I continued to work as hard as I could following the inspiration he was sending me, and I have made tremendous advances that have helped many singles in the church. But I felt all along that he was preparing me for something else. I told him I didn't want that first trial again, that he needed to find something else for me. This time I wanted to marry someone I really LOVE, not just the person He picked for me, that I needed to help.
Right now, I am in a relationship with a wonderful LDS guy I have had a crush on for a long time. I just told him my story. And he told me his. He is Bi-Sexual. And struggled all his life with the Church's teachings and the prejudice that exists against him. It is my turn to help him. Everything I have gone through in my life has prepared me to be a support for him. The Lord knew what he was doing this entire time, and even though I couldn't see it in these Middle Moments, all will work out in the end if we will just listen and obey those promptings, even the ones no one else can understand.