After I broke up with my ex-fiancé (as I mentioned in Age-Old Argument, and How They Changed My Life), I was a hot mess of Mormon-old-maid-never-gonna-marry doubt. I was in my mid-twenties, and by Mormon standards, that’s getting pretty old to still be single.
I remember asking my mom if I was ever going to find someone. I got the oh-so-comforting answer of “I don’t know.” There were empty platitudes and sympathies thrown at me from all sides. Well meant, I’m sure, but from those who got married young and already had multiple children, it stung because they had no idea how it felt to be in my situation.
“Have you prayed about it?”
“Have you asked the Lord to send you your eternal companion?”
“Have you fasted?”
“Are you going to church every week? How about activities?”
Even now I can remember the pain and helplessness and frustration that these questions brought. I grew up having my role as a woman in the Church drilled into my head. Go on a mission and get married, then start popping out kids. As a single woman who was fast approaching the dreaded 3-0, I had an ever increasing feeling of failure.
I wasn’t humble enough, or didn’t read my scriptures enough. Or maybe it’s because I worked on Sundays. I didn’t pay a full tithe. I spent too much time playing computer games. I drank caffeine-laden energy drinks. (*gasp* Noooo!! Not caffeine!!) I was sure there were any number of things that I was doing wrong that prevented me from being “blessed” with a husband.
Because of this, I had feelings of inadequacy. I suffered from undiagnosed depression. I stayed home, in the dark. I didn’t want to see people. I cried a lot. A friend I talked to online was constantly begging me to see a doctor about it, but I was in denial, and insisted I was fine. Just a little sad.
As with everything else, the Church had their B.S. solution to my problem. If I never get married in this life, it’s okay. I’ll find someone in the afterlife, and I’ll get my family then. Once Jesus returns and everyone is resurrected, then I can have kids.
I’m not making this up either. In one of my frustrated and angry moments, I vented this to my father. It’s crap. How can they say that during the Millennium (the word the Mormons use for the thousand years of peace following Christ’s “second coming” and the resurrection of mankind) I can have a family when they said before that the Second Coming wasn’t going to happen until after all the spirits in the “pre-Mortal Life” are born?
He insisted that I had it wrong, but I still see this explanation as a cop out. It’s just an empty reassurance to give, after they already made all the single women feel worthless because they didn’t fill their proper Molly Mormon duties by going to the temple early.