Dear family and friends: A letter about my divorce written on my 16th wedding anniversary. (By Lolly)

Dear family and friends,

Today is an important day for me. It marks the 16th year since Josh and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple. It also marks 6 years since we had our first viral post, which brought many of you into our lives.

I know that there are a lot of people out there—people very close to me, and people kind of close to me, and even people I have never met—that are worried about me. I’m writing this letter to you.

‘Tis I. Lolly. Here to answer some questions.

First of all, I wanted to say thank you for your love and concern. It really does mean a lot to me. I know there are a lot of people out there who are wondering what is going on with the Weed Family. We have certainly been quiet around here (though we plan on changing that—we will be posting more often now that we’ve taken a much needed reprieve while we sorted through some of the personal details of our new circumstances.)

If you’re someone who watches Josh’s Instagram stories, you’ll probably have seen that I pop up every once in a while as if nothing ever changed, as if we didn’t announce in January that we are getting a divorce. You might have noticed me at family home evenings, or our morning breakfasts with the girls, or occasionally dancing around and having fun. I can imagine this is confusing without context.

Lately, I get a lot of people coming up to me with apprehensive looks saying, “So…how are you doing?” Often, I think what they actually want to say is, “What are you guys doing anyway? Have you gotten divorced yet? What is going on with your living arrangement? Are you crazy?”

I’d like to take a little time today to answer some of these questions:

What are you guys doing anyway?

We’re living our life as a family.

Have you gotten divorced yet?

The paperwork has been filed and accepted. Washington state has a 90-day “cooling period,” so even though our paperwork has been filed for months, it won’t be final until the 4th of July. Yes, our divorce will be final on Independence Day. We feel it is both funny and kind of fitting.

What is going on with your living arrangement?

We are still living in the same house we’ve always lived in, but Josh and I have different rooms (and yes, I did get the master suite <winky emoji>) This makes the most sense for our family for many reasons.

  1. We are STILL a family
  2. It’s good for the kids
  3. It’s good for me and Josh because…
  4. Josh and I are still best friends who don’t hate each other
  5. Also, I don’t feel like being a single mom
  6. And basically, we Weeds all love each other, and this was the plan the moment Josh and I realized we were going to end our marriage, and it is working really well

Some people actually do ask me these direct questions and I am glad they do. I would much rather people talk to me than about me to someone else. I will answer any question that anyone asks me and if you know me in real life, no question is too personal, so don’t hesitate. Don’t worry about upsetting me, either. Seeing a look of concern on your face or hearing that you were talking about me to other people is WAY more upsetting than you just talking to me directly about your concerns.

Here are some of the questions that I think even my closest family members think at times but don’t ask:

So, are you dying inside?

No, I am not.

Are you hurting?

Sometimes, yes. This has been a hard transition for me. But the pain and shock are slowly diminishing. *Cue the thought: “Josh, you selfish, rotten b****** * (I know that there are a lot of individuals around me who are thinking this.)

So, Lolly, do you think Josh is a selfish, rotten b******?

 (Please listen to this, because the answer is very important to me.) The answer is no. I don’t think that even a little tiny bit. Josh is the father of my amazing girls. Josh is the best friend I have ever known and he continues to be. Josh is not the villain and I am not his victim. If anything, we are both victims of misguided ideals and incorrect cultural beliefs. Josh is as much a victim as I am.

In fact, he is more of a victim that I am.  Again, I need to remind everyone that I got to live a normal heterosexual adolescence filled with fun crushes and dreams of finding true love. Josh never did. With every normal surge of hormones he experienced when seeing someone he found attractive, he beat himself up and reminded himself that he was “disgusting” for thinking that. With every surge of hormones I experienced when seeing someone I found attractive, I got to think, “Oh, he’s cute!” and then I moved on or tried to flirt with him or something.

Josh is a 38-year-old man who is just now allowing himself to experience the same feelings of romance that a straight junior high kid feels entitled to experience. And yet, the way people are responding to our divorce is proof that he is much more the victim of this set-up than I am. Who is everyone instantly blaming? The gay guy. Who does everyone try to support and run to the aid of? The straight spouse. I’d ask you all to consider, why is that the most common response? Josh and I are both still taking care of our girls full-time. Nobody in this situation has been abandoned. Why, when it comes to support, do the people around us flock around me, worry about me, feel outraged for me, look for someone to blame (usually Josh) for what is happening to me etc.? Why not the gay person who has been through way more than I have over the course of his life, and who is losing so much more than I will ever lose by simply being who he is? Why aren’t people incensed or deeply worried for and defensive of him?

Never mind that he has tried so hard his entire life to “be good.” He wanted to be righteous so much that he honestly and sincerely married me with every intention of living faithfully to me until the end of our lives. How many straight people could say they have seriously contemplated that option? Would you be willing to make the same sacrifice for God? And don’t be so quick to answer, “Yes!” because even Abraham struggled with the idea of sacrificing his son. Scripturally, even Jesus Christ asked God to “remove this cup from me.”

So, to all you straight religious people out there, I ask, would you be willing to sacrifice romance and sex for your ENTIRE life, with no hope of ever experiencing romantic love—ever, ever, even once—because of your love for your Heavenly Father? If you have found your true love, would you be willing to give them up for God? You might think you would. And maybe you could for the first decade or two of your life, but it takes its toll. Abraham wasn’t asked to continually sacrifice Isaac every day of his life. Yet, we expect gay members of the church to lay the hope of finding love on the sacrificial alter every day of their life. It’s very easy to judge someone when you don’t face their reality over time. It’s very easy to take a distant glance at something unfamiliar and compare it to something familiar—being gay is like being an alcoholic, and we all have to sacrifice things we’d like sometimes. Never mind that these two issues are so different I could write a book on how impossible this comparison is. I beg of you to not cast Josh as the villain. In fact, I’d say Josh needs your love more than I do. I automatically receive sympathy when people hear about our situation and he receives judgment. Please love him. If you know him, believe me when I say he’s still the same Josh you have always known and loved. I promise. In fact, he’s even better. He’s more authentic than I’ve ever seen him. He’s healthier than he’s ever been. I’ve never seen him so alive and so himself. If you have lost contact with him over the last year, you are missing out on seeing some amazing things.

Other questions or statements that I get:

Have you come to your senses yet and kicked Josh out of the house? Have you gathered up enough self-respect to move on from your gay ex-husband? Did you finally realize that Josh didn’t care enough about you to sacrifice to stay married to you, and now he doesn’t care enough about you to leave you alone while you try to move on, so you’re going to have to be the one to shun him from your life?  I can’t imagine what you’re going through! If my husband and I were to get divorced, there is no way I could still live with him and interact with him every day and watch him date other people. That must be torture for you! 

Okay,  STOP IT. Of course if you’re a straight person married to another straight person and you divorced, continuing to live with that person would be absolute torture. Most of the time it would probably be impossible and very unhealthy! The two of you would’ve ended a viable romantic attachment (probably for really good reasons), and so living in the same space would likely be a landmine of triggers for both of you and watching each other date would likely set off all kinds of internal alarms about not being good enough, and about being replaced by another person of your same gender. That sounds like an actual nightmare to me. But please hear me when I say that: OUR SITUATION IS DIFFERENT THAN THAT. Don’t get me wrong, this hasn’t been even remotely easy for me. But, if Josh were straight and we were divorcing, it would be so much harder. Most people are looking at my situation from their own heterosexual paradigm. If Josh were straight and we got divorced, there is no way we would still be living in the same house. It would hurt me too much to watch him replace me with another woman. And it would kill him to see me replace him with another man, too.

But, that is not my reality. My reality is that I am watching my best friend finally accept himself for who he is and it is beautiful to watch. So, yes, while severing my romantic attachment to him has been brutal at times, I have the tools to do it.

But when I see you together, you still seem so in love! How could Josh throw away the connection that I KNOW is there between you! All for sex!

First of all, Josh is not making a unilateral decision. We made this decision side-by-side, after hours and hours of prayer and contemplation.

Second, Josh and I have always been super close. Even in junior high when we sat at the same lunch table! We’ve always had a unique connection, but the connection you see was never romantic love.

When we were in college, long before we’d had any intention to try romance, everyone thought we were a couple because of how we acted with each other. People were shocked when they found out that we weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend. That’s because we genuinely love and care about one another and know each other intimately. And that has ALWAYS been the case.  I wasn’t interested in Josh AT ALL growing up because he was gay and he had outed himself to me when he was 16. I was looking forward to sex in marriage so much. I didn’t want to marry someone who couldn’t fully love me.

Me and Josh in high school.
Yes, this is us at Josh’s prom. He asked me to go the day before, AS FRIENDS. As you can see, my dress was absolutely stunning.

 

As far as the “all for sex” part of this question, stay tuned for a post next week that talks allll about this. For now, just let me say this idea is very misguided.

Well, why did you marry him then? Did he wear you down?

Josh may be very persuasive, but he’s not that persuasive. J

Josh did not trick me into marriage or persuade me to do it. Far from it. During my second year of college, Josh was in the middle of receiving what is called “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy.” This is a type of therapy that nearly every therapist associated with the Mormon church practiced at the time, and many still do, even though now it is outlawed for minors in many states because it causes so much distress and harm. This therapy treats LGBT people like they are broken, and it treats homosexuality like it is like an illness or an injury that can be cured or fixed. It tells a gay person that they were meant to be straight, and that if they heal old wounds and play sports and relate to men and women properly (and have enough faith!), they will turn into the straight person they really are. These were the ideas informing many of the conversations Josh and I had about his gay experience.

Nowadays, there is lots and lots of scientific evidence showing that these ideas are false. We now know that sexual orientation is static, and that it can’t be “fixed” or “changed,” and that when people try to, it causes them great distress. Back then, though, we didn’t know any of this, and the adults in our lives urged Josh to do “conversion therapy.” He’s been receiving this type of therapy for several years. At the advice of his therapists Josh decided to really try and “act more straight” that year. I remember even giving him advice on how to “not to be so gay.” (I’m actually embarrassed thinking about all of this now, but at the time, we really were led to believe this was the right thing for a gay person to do. Now, though, we clearly see that Josh is not a broken straight person and that it was unhealthy for him to pretend to be anything but what he iss.)

I was always one of Josh’s sounding boards as he processed his sexual orientation and change efforts. That year, in the process of acting like a straight person, we both agreed it was probably a good idea for him to start dating girls to see if he could like them. So, he dated my roommate and best friend. When he did that, I started viewing him as a straight person, because that is how he was acting…like a straight person, which was attractive to me because I am straight. I was romantically and physically attracted to “straight-acting Josh.” So, I allowed myself to fall in love with him. And Josh, having grown up in the church, had no idea what love or infatuation even were. So he believed in this version of “straight-acting Josh” too. I know that sounds messed up and it really is messed up. But, hindsight is 20/20. This was how I let myself fall in love with a gay man.

Please remember, I have always loved the core of who Josh is, the “gay Josh” (aka, the real Josh) who was my best friend for years. So, as people watch us now, like they watched us in high school and early college, they think, “They have such a great connection! They’re such a cute couple.” But what these people are seeing is a deep, fun, connected, very close friendship between a gay man and a straight woman which is a very common type of friendship. (Just watch Will and Grace for a case study!) So to the bystander, it may seem that I am still “in love” with Josh. But, please know: straight-acting Josh is gone and the person he was when we were best friends is back. And I love him like I did back then, but not as a lover, because he is gay. It seems to the outside observer that we are acting just like we did when we were married, but let me assure you, things are different. And really, it was the other way around: when we were “married” we were actually acting just like we did when we were best friends. The friendship was real. The romance was the illusion.

Now you may be wondering: how can she do that? How can she just not be in love with him anymore, especially since he is always there? 

I’m a freaking marriage and family therapist, y’all! I have been doing some MAJOR processing with all my therapist friends and supervisors, and even with Josh! I know how to set up appropriate boundaries, and Josh does too! In therapy jargon, I have been reframing my attachment to him to align with the friend attachment I had with him in the first place. The romantic attachment that I had created was false, because it wasn’t to the real Josh, it was to “broken, straight-acting” Josh. And it hurt me deeply because he could never reciprocate that love. I cannot emphasize how damaging that was to me. In all honesty, our relationship is much healthier and I feel free. I feel free to love and be loved in an authentic way to my sexual orientation, which is that of a straight woman wanting to be loved by a straight man.

And I AM moving on, but me moving on doesn’t mean I have to reject Josh. It doesn’t even mean that I need “a break” from him. Recently I got a spiritual blessing from a good friend’s husband. In the blessing it said that I would get a lot of advice and opinions from a lot of people, but I needed to follow my heart. It stressed that I could trust my heart and it also confirmed the answer that I had received late last year as I sat praying in the temple: that I should let go of Josh as my husband. Let go of the past and look to the horizon. But that we should, as we have felt all along, remain together as a family unit.

So, I am asking anyone who loves me to please trust me. If God told me I could trust my heart, then you can trust it too. Trust that I know what I am doing. Trust me that I am telling the truth when I say that this decision to end our marriage was not Josh’s idea. It was an inspired decision that came to both of us at the same time. And it is right.

Josh does love me more than anyone will ever know—just as much and just as tenderly as any other member of my family loves me, and I love him the same way. We love each other fiercely—we always have and we always will. We will always have each other’s’ backs. When you hurt or judge or condemn Josh, you hurt, condemn and judge me too. He did not “toss me aside to fulfill his own carnal desires” as people so readily want to assume. Given who Josh is and what his life actually looks like right now, that idea is laughable. We walked into this marriage together and we walked out of it together. We were best friends before we became lovers and we will continue to be best friends now that we are no longer lovers. In fact, the truth is, we never even were true lovers.

So, I have been letting go of Josh as my romantic partner, but honestly, my heart says to keep Josh as one of my best friends, and to keep him as part of my family. My heart says to let my girls live with their father and their mother. My heart says that I WILL find love someday. And Josh will be there, cheering me on, and I’ll be doing the same for him.

We took this photo this afternoon. SEE? Still besties! 😉
Oh, the carefree nature of our life-long friendship!

 

Whether anyone else decides to join us by supporting our journey is up to them. But fair warning: we are a package deal. If you choose to love and be close to me, you will be close to Josh, too. He’s not going anywhere. I’m not kicking him out of my life. I’m keeping him close, as we all should do with family, no matter what. In fact, this has become something of a family motto: in the Weed family, nobody gets kicked out and everyone belongs. So don’t talk to me like Josh no longer in the picture. And don’t treat him badly. I wouldn’t be okay if you hurt any member of my family, or spoke ill of them, or treated them unkindly, or rejected them, or damaged them in any way. It would break my heart. Know that when you do those things to Josh—when you judge him unfairly, or say critical things of him, or talk to me like he is some bad guy who selfishly hurt me or like I’m entitled to hate him, all you’re doing is hurting me.

So, yes, today I am celebrating a cherished anniversary. It is no longer the anniversary of my marriage to Josh. And that is sad in some ways, and a huge blessing in others. What this day is, though, is the anniversary of the creation of the Weed family. A family that experiences joy and love together every single day. A family that adores each other, and a family whose members will never be kicked out, no matter who they are or who they love. The six of us will always be a family. And just like any nuclear family, eventually, through love and marriage, others will be added to the mix. And that will bring more love, and more inclusion, and more room for joy.

The formation of the Weed family is something I am very grateful for today. It’s something I’ll never, ever regret.

Happy Anniversary, Weed Family!!! 16 years down, and many years to come!

The Weed family looks whimsically into the future…

83 Comments

  1. This is beautiful and inspiring. You guys are moving forward together in authenticity and in the process a family of choice is being born. That’s a miracle. There is no doubt in my mind that you will both wind up with the romantic partners you were meant to be with. It’s going to be wonderful for all of you.

  2. Thinking of you both with love and prayers. Been following you since your ‘reveal’ six years ago, and I read your recent revelations with deep respect. You are both an example to us all.

  3. I love you both and wish you both the very best of luck as you guys work through the nuances of your new relationship. Having had a very animosity-filled divorce I am really jealous of your amicable post-marriage friendship. So glad to hear you are both doing well. ❤❤❤

  4. I can relate so much to this and am glad that you keep posting about your new family dynamic. My wife and I are 9 months into our new normal……… Separate rooms…….I am dating guys….The only differences is we are staying married so that I can keep taking care of her with my health insurance(She is disabled after a brain tumor). But talking about what boundaries are needed and constantly reassessing and continuing communication. Moving back to the best friends that started our relationship. When Josh actually does start dating and you all blog about that it will help for my wife to hear how you process that. She doesn’t really have anyone that can relate to her there. Anyway, thank you for allowing others into your lives.

  5. I started following your family six years ago, and I was saddened to read of your divorce. I am happy you are finding peace and happiness in your new life/situation/normal. However, as I process your experiences with my world view, I have a question. If the Mormon church has been and continues to be so wrong about homosexuality how/why do you still believe in going to the temple and receiving blessings? The policies and practices of the church regarding same sex attraction come from the first presidency and the quorum of the 12 apostles. If, they are wrong, then isn’t the rest of it? Or if they are correct in their teachings then you are wrong. I don’t see how you can both (your family the Mormon church) can be right. I am truly not trying to be argumentative, I’m just trying to understand in an area I have no experience.

    1. You are absolutely correct about the “policies and practices” of the church. However, the church is run by humans. Being a prophet or apostle doesn’t make you perfect… Remember Jonah. Remember Enos. Even the Brother of Jared got reprimanded by the Lord. As a member of the LDS church, my testimony isn’t based on the policies of the church. My testimony consists of 5 things: the Book of Mormon is true; Joseph Smith was a prophet and did see God and His son; the Holy Ghost is real and we can receive modern day revelation; temples and their ordinances are real and important; and we have a living prophet now. For anything other than that, I go by the two great commandments: Love God and love your neighbor.
      So what if the Weeds are “wrong”? Big freaking deal. 1st) That doesn’t affect any of what the “church” does for me and does not affect my salvation. 2nd) Doesn’t change that I love them.
      What if the church is “wrong” about this particular thing? Big freaking deal. 1st) That also doesn’t affect the basis of my testimony or my salvation. 2nd) I’m not going to find another church that has more truth than the LDS one.

      It is not a matter of all or nothing or who is right and who is wrong. I know God loves us. I know we can receive revelation for ourselves. I love people and have to believe that they know themselves better than I know them. The Weeds are embarking on territory that no one could even comprehend 5 years ago. There is not one person on this planet who has the right or the experience/knowledge to judge them…nor any reason why they should. The Weeds are handling a *divorce* better than most people handle being cut off in traffic. We are only expected to do the best *we* can do according to *our own* abilities and knowledge. We will not be compared to what someone else does.

      So to sum up. Regarding other people, God only requires me to love them. If I felt so inclined to judge the Weeds according to what I know to be true.. Then I would remember that the core of the gospel of Jesus Christ is service and service is about how we treat people. So, how are the Weeds treating each other? Pretty damn well.

      1. I really wish I could thank you in person, Barbara. For the last several weeks I’ve felt like my soul has been in turmoil (completely unrelated to the Weeds’ situation). From someone who rarely reads the comments section of anything, I truly believe your response was an answer to my prayers. The wave of peace that just washed over me is indescribable. Not to make this all about me, but I just wanted you to know that you are fantastic. Thank you, again.

        As for the Weed family, I have a great respect for your decisions. It is evident that you have so much love between the two of you, and I hope you both find the peak of happiness you both deserve so much.

  6. I appreciate the degree of honesty I read, and have read, in your posts. I will do my best to honor your honesty by being as honest as I can, too.
    I have a lot of mixed feelings and confusion about the direction you are taking and what it portends for the direction I will be taking. See, I thought of you (both of you together) as a pillar for me; a pillar of light to follow as well as a pillar to support and encourage me when my urges to act on my same sex attraction become strong at times. I guess I am bisexual, more gay than straight but I do find some women (especially short haircut boyish looking women like Ellen Degeneres and Audrey Hepburn – in her movies) attractive. I am married with adult children and I used to enjoy having sex with my wife but the last few years I have a difficult time performing because I feel guilty for knowing I would enjoy being with a man who was attractive to me. I am over 60 years old and I no longer see my body as attractive and I can no longer ignore my dislike of my body and it’s too tiring to exercise and do things that would give me more stamina and health. I’m not looking for you to solve my problems, I just want to tell you that the changes you are making in your lives have come to impact my life because it feels like I’ve had a rug pulled from under my feet. I know that how I feel is not, nor ever should be, your responsibility but because I have come to care and have hope for myself through your posts, you do have an impact in my life.
    Thank you for what you have meant to me through your sharing. I will continue to read your posts and see what’s happening with the Weed family.

  7. I wish I knew you both in real life! You are both awesome people and I wish you both all of the best. As the mother of an LGBTQ child who felt they had to hide who they they were until they were 25 I appreciate you sharing your story.

  8. Thank you for sharing. I especially like the part where you note how wearing in the long term ‘mixed orientation’ marriage can be. That is true and borne out by stories like yours.
    I imagine they’ll be comments akin to ‘no, no, change back!’ but you seem strong enough to withstand them.
    Bravo. And remember you can have boundaries and don’t have to share everything with everyone if you don’t want to!

  9. I appreciate your honesty and not speaking like you’re being attacked.
    I still don’t necessarily agree with you guys BUT from reading the blog for years I respect you enough to not question what you believe.

    So how will you raise the girls? In the church but having different beliefs?
    Can they get baptized? It’s all so interesting and eye opening
    http://www.warriorsimon.com

  10. I’m very glad your feelings are inspired. I’m glad of where you look and gain answers. I’m very sorry for both your pain, but happy for your hope and relationship. This life can be so complicated it’s hard to do the very things we are supposed to do. Have faith and love each other.
    I completely agree Josh (or anyone else) is not a broken straight person. I do hope he finds a way to hold on to his testimony in this life though. None of us have all (or even any) of the answers. Best of luck and much love.

  11. Lolly, Josh, thank you both SO much for your honesty and vulnerability in sharing your journey. I can’t tell you’re much your story has helped me in my own life as a gay man. I’m so very happy for both of you that you’re working together and forging your paths as a family in this new situation 🙂 I do have a question though that I was hoping you might be able to address. I’m curious what your thoughts are.
    I completely agree with your decision and I’m happy for you both. What I’m curious about is what your thoughts with what this realization for you implies about people who are asexual, like my best friend Erin.

    She is unable to comprehend sexual attraction, though she understands romantic attraction. To her, the idea that resonates so much with me, that people need romantic attachment to someone they are oriented towards, seems like somewhat of a death sentence to her. She doesn’t understand or feel sexual attraction, though she can understand sexual gratification, and feels that her lack of attraction/attachment dooms her to a life where she will be unable to have a complete and fulfilling relationship with anyone because she can’t guve them that attachment, anymore than Josh can give that to you, Lolly. She worries that any person whom she comes to love, even if they are attracted to her, will come to feel as you did Lolly, and will not want/be able to remain in a relationship where she isn’t attracted to them. I would love to share this blog post with her, for they have perfectly described my own feelings so eloquently in ways I wouldn’t have thought to say. However, I know that she would only see the message that she is doomed to a life where she can’t attach to anyone the way we all crave.

    My question is, as MFT’s and as people going through this situation right now, what are your thoughts in how this situation applies to people who are asexual? Whether they are married to a straight or a gay person.

    Thank you!

      1. You evidently have never (a) been a sexual minority, (b) had to live on a budget, or (c) been to a bad counsellor if you think that all counsellors are (a) educated about and competent to deal positively with issues faced by asexuals, (b) affordable, and (c) able or willing to provide a safer room for discussion than the anonymous atmosphere of a blog.

        1. A lot of assumptions. Those counsellors are out there but yeah you might have to do some work to find one and find a good one. That sucks to have to search around. Also your comment seemed more like baiting tban real but no matter. On the off chance it is real, there are counsellors in every major city that work with sexual minorities. Does Erini live in a small town? There are hotlines and online resources. So maybe stop asduming and start researching.

          1. I’m not Colby and have nothing to do with Erin.

            “Also your comment seemed more like baiting tban real but no matter.”
            That reinforces my assumption (and yeah, it was an assumption, which I’m open to changing) that you don’t have experience with being a sexual minority or with seeking counselling as such (since a simple statement of common experience seems “not real” and “baiting” to you).

            “There are hotlines and online resources.” Talking to strangers online was what you were discouraging in the comment I replied to.

            “So maybe stop asduming and start researching.” Research what? I didn’t claim asexual-friendly counselors don’t exist. I was commenting on your comment to Colby, and the sense of dismissiveness I got from it.

          2. still assuming. Eeek.
            Some folks come on here and ask questions specifically designed to try and get Josh/Lolly to feel guilty or somehow think that magically their comment will have them re-think. Bringing up asexual issues is one of those ways. Like but Josh if you say this then what about asexuals? Absolutely there are asexuals out there but many times on here people try to word comments because they think it will get Josh to re-think his decision, rather than it being an actual struggle. But fair enough it might have been a real comment.
            If that is the case – then I’m not clear why folks think that Josh has the answers for other sexual minorities. It is unfortunate that that comment didn’t open a discussion with others struggling with the issue.
            and of course finding a real live in person counsellor is difficult – but worth it I think. and there are hotlines/online resources specifically for sexual minorities, yes?
            Fair enough – I am distrustful of some of the comments on here. I am not doubting that asexuals struggle and need help. I am doubting that they would come on here and think they would find an answer on a blog that is not about asexuals. Although true enough, the only place they may have to go if they are Mormons is North Star and that organization mainly encourages gay men to hug it out with each other in a ‘safe touching’ way.

          3. Alright, if I’ve assumed wrong about anything, feel free to let me know.

            As a whole, asexuals (and people with asexual friends) are pretty much like anyone else. We’re not any more into baiting or guilt-tripping or posting fake comments than other people. (And Colby specifically said he was gay and Josh and Lolly’s posts helped him in his own life, so I’m not sure why you thought he or his asexual friend was against their decision much less baiting them.) Our lives don’t revolve around being asexual, so we read blogs by non-asexuals about non-asexual stuff just like anyone else. (Though Josh’s blog discusses gay/lesbian issues which are often relevant to other minorities.) Just like gay people read blogs written by heterosexuals without expecting answers about homosexuality from the heterosexual blogger.

            But when people start a discussion that affects asexuals, it’s only fair if asexuals have a voice in it. Like, if some heterosexual bloggers and commenters started discussing their own marriage experiences, saying that having both male and female viewpoints is so important to making marriage work, would you expect gay/bisexual commenters (and their friends/allies) to stay out of that discussion just because it wasn’t about them?

            We get pitted against non-asexual gay people by both anti-asexual folks and anti-gay folks who use one group as a sledgehammer against the other group. I didn’t read through all the comments, but the thing with people using asexuality to doubt Josh’s decisions sounds like that. Please don’t contribute to it by dismissing comments that point out how generalizations intended for non-asexuals have negative effects on asexuals, as if they’re in conflict (they aren’t) with the struggles of gay people who aren’t asexual.

            “and of course finding a real live in person counsellor is difficult – but worth it I think. and there are hotlines/online resources specifically for sexual minorities, yes?”

            I agree, a good counsellor is worth it if you can afford it. (And yeah, organizations for gay men into religious celibacy definitely aren’t great for asexuals!) There are LGB hotlines but I don’t think there are asexual ones. But it’s important not to underestimate the internet, not just because most people don’t have a good counsellor (because of availability, cost, risk, and lots of other reasons), but because it lets people open up in an anonymous space and the exchanges help everyone to become better educated. I think everyone who’s followed The Weed for a while knows that Josh & Lolly almost never reply directly to comments, but that doesn’t mean discussions can’t happen down here.

  12. You guys are awesome and I love you both. My husband and I decided to divorce in Feb. but we still share a house and expenses and parenting. It was awkward at first but we both did a lot of work to create boundaries and let go of expectation. We see other people and are genuinely happy for the other. It’s not conventional but it works.

    1. Couldn’t resist throwing in a little judgement. Huh. Is it like a tick? Like you just have to be judgy and spend the time to write it down. No choice you gotta do it. Even though you are judging strangers you just can’t help yourself.

  13. I have been following you for SO many years and have your comments both refreshing and inspiring. I have many LGBTQ friends and accept them for who they are, not what they are! I have found it very hard to attend a church that has such bigotry, not just of the LGBTQ community, but to others. Even in an Elders Quarum meeting my husband had gone to (we are no longer active members), there was an African American member in attendance and one of the old “codgers” turned to this gentleman and asked him “how do “you people” adapt to the changes the church made regarding blacks holding the priesthood, etc, etc.” I would have gotten up and walked out, after first going over to that gentleman and giving him a hug.

    I love BOTH of you guys and your sweet family. If either of you ever get down to Tucson, AZ, I hope you will look me up – would LOVE to take either of you, or both of you, or ALL of you, out to dinner. You have really inspired me alot and you both mean the world to me!

  14. Lolly, You and your children seem so sweet that it’s difficult not to suspect that Josh’s head got turned by an unhealthy association with the LBGT community, runaway sexual fantasies, and porn consumption. His recent posts lack the pure clarity of earlier ones, like his mind has fogged over. Sexuality dwindles to an insignificant portion of the relationship as people grow old together. It’s nice of you to shoulder the blame but don’t take too much of it. It’s always possible there’s more to the cause of the problems than even you can see.

    1. Either you didnt read her words or you don’t understand them or you don’t believe them. Your comment is judgmental and homophobic and speaks to you believing anti-LGBTQ rhetoric above Lilly’s honest, lived-experience and education. You are doing just what she asked you not to.

  15. Thank you so for chronicaling this journey. I love the insight I learn from you and the way it helps me reframe the things I learned growing up in the LDS Church. I really enjoyed meeting you this year at NW Pilgrims and can’t restate enough that you are making a difference. The pain you are experiencing isn’t wasted. You and Josh and the girls are in my heart and prayers and I look forward to hearing about all of the love and friendships and acceptance that comes next!
    #teamweed

  16. Hi Lolly,

    I have never met you, but I have been following your family’s story with great interest for the past 6 years. I have an immense amount of respect for both you and Josh as you continue to mark your way in uncharted territory, following the Spirit as your guide–just as you have done all along. You two are the embodiment of “courage” and “integrity”. Thank you for your beautiful examples–of bravery and of pure love. I will forever support you both as you continue to follow the paths the Lord has illuminated for you.

    My family has a story, too–a unique one, which has unfolded over the course of the past several years. Over these past few months, I have been feeling a deep need to share that story with you, Lolly. I hope that you will reach out and give me that opportunity! (Our story, as I would like to share it, is a bit too detailed and personal to simply post as a comment on this blog, unfortunately!!)

    I hope so much to hear from you, and I so look forward to corresponding.

    All the best,
    Cheryl

      1. Although my family’s story is quite unrelated to the challenges you all have experienced, the trials we have come through have made us so much stronger, and I would love to share that story with you.

  17. How does that help the children to see their parents in a marriage that isn’t authentic and thus unhappy?? The kids will be fine with Lolly and Josh co parenting. They still love and respect each other and they will be happier people now they are both free to find romantic love.

  18. Wow, you guys are just amazing. I have the same question someone posted above: how do you still believe the church is true? Having been raised in the church, I know it’s not easy to just walk away. But if the church leaders got this SO wrong for so long, what else are they wrong about?

  19. I respect your decision and understand. A question I have is Josh chose not to follow his inclinations because of the disease risks and the general instability of the relationships as he perceived them. If I am incorrect on reading this then I apologize. But fi I am correct..how does he reconcile his prior view with the current one?

    I have an answer but would rather ask then assume.

  20. I read this post for the first time and felt the need to comment. I have been in the same situation with my soon to be ex wife for four years, since the separation…and for 16 years of marriage total this year. This is us…only she has responded in the ways in which Lolly has avoided…and it has caused INTENSE hurt, harm, and damage to the family. I loved her DEARLY…as a friend and the mother of my children when I OFFICIALLY came out to her and her family…and I tried to express that. I did not work with her. I wish she could see this post, and think about it and let it sink in…before it is too late. We’re in a bad situation.

    1. I think comparing responses might not be helpful. Your situation could be entirely different and people react differently to the news – Lolly knew before she married Josh and it sounds like your wife didn’t. Don’t use Lolly’s story to tell your wife how to react – rather maybe try to understand her pain and see it from a perspective that isn’t yours.

  21. Lolly asked, “would you be willing to sacrifice romance and sex for your ENTIRE life?” Most men do not want to be monogamous. Most men, gay or straight, want to have sex every day with as many partners as possible. The sex drive in men is intense. So, yes, men who are obeying God’s commandment of chastity are going through the same experience as Josh. It is not easy for any man to sacrifice their intense desires for sex, to refrain from sex and obey God’s commandment of chastity. It is a daily battle and burden for most men. Some men make this sacrifice for their entire life, especially when they become single again. Unfortunately, many men, gay or straight, give in and no longer make the sacrifice that God has asked them to make.

  22. I lost my wife to cancer.

    I’m gay and also thought I could “just be normal”.

    She suspected, by the end she knew, and gave me her blessing to be happy. I haven’t been with anyone since.

    When I read how neither Josh nor Lolly experienced true passionate love making, even going through the motions, giving birth to children, and living each other dearly, every word hits home.

    I only wish my wife could have experienced the love she deserved, and pray she found it as she’s with Heavenly Father.

    I never had the courage reflected in the Weeds.

  23. Thank you, Lolly, for being so vulnerable and willing to share. You and Josh are an inspiration to me. Your approach is helping me formulate my own approach in a similar situation. God bless you both!

  24. I started following you when the coming out post went viral. This post made me cry because it sums up the life of the LGBTQ community so well. My nephew is gay and he has been in a relationship for 11 years. I absolutely love his partner. You can feel the love they have for each other when you are around them. They don’t have kids but they have 2 fur babies. I wish you all the best of luck in the future. You have a beautiful family and I can see that things are going to be all right. I find it so sad the amount of judgmental people that have been commenting on this post (and your other posts). I hope you find your way around the nasty, judgmental people who are here and around you in “real” life and you are able to love and be loved for your authentic selves. xoxo

  25. Beautiful post! I’m a straight spouse also getting divorced in July(married in 2011, separate apartments since 2016).

    Your words are right on as far as I’m concerned regarding how it hurts to have friends want to criticize the gay spouse and treat the straight spouse as the victim.—we had a smaller scale viral post among friends in 2015, so we’ve been navigating fairly publicly as well.

    Johnny is my favorite person in the world, and it brings peace to my soul to see him dating his first boyfriend, Robby. We all were at Pride last week, and I like getting to spend time with both of them. The transition has also really transformed me by allowing me to date straight men and engage that side of myself for the first time.

    Your original unicorn post was one of few guideposts we had when we started the terrifying journey of facing our sexual orientation incongruence. I’m so thrilled to see that you are all keeping your heads above water as you create this new story. 🙂 I’m rooting for you!

  26. I’m proud of you guys. I first found your blog in 2012 when my own marriage began to crumble. I lived your life for 24 years. Exact. Same.
    I grew up with my husband who now is my ex but was also my best friend. We have 3 children. I say nothing changed except for the paper work. We’re both remarried. Our friendship never changed. It ripped my heart out for a year. But when anyone asks me why we divorced I tell them, It was because we loved each other. We divorced because of Love. I knew he nor I could continue marriage. I don’t need to tell you guys anything because you’re living it now. I pray happiness and peace for you both.

  27. I wish I could feel what you feel Lolly. I would love to still have my best friend. But he lied, broke our vows, cheated on me and risked my life. I am just as shamed as he is because people do not acknowledge my existence especially the gay community. I am a straight spouse who spent her marriage living, giving, working and making our family. What do I get? Broken and many who think he is so brave to come out. What am I? Oh yeah the forgotten wife and ex straight spouse who never was loved like a woman should be by a man. You paint this beautiful picture but what I see is a mangled mess. My very own life.

  28. That is so difficult, TMC. And it makes me angry because it is true that many times that is the case – the gay man who leaves is heralded as a hero and the wife is left with nothing. Your story alone (and there are thousands, no doubt) is reason enough to put an end to mixed orientation marriages. I hope things get better for you.

  29. You said it would hurt for either of you to see yourself being replaced. “It would hurt me too much to watch him replace me with another woman. And it would kill him to see me replace him with another man, too.” Isn’t that what will happen for Josh when you start a relationship with another man?

  30. ❤️ I love how open and honest you guys are. I love what you guys are doing and the example you are setting. I wish nothing but love for all of you.

  31. Next week, my ex husband’s son (my son’s younger half brother) is coming to stay with my husband and me, and our children for a visit. We’ve been divorced a decade and I’ve been remarried seven years. The true and genuine love I feel for the woman who became my son’s bonus mom, and the way our family has gotten bigger and blended is the sweetest thing I have ever known. God made the most incredible beauty from the ashes of such a painful time. Wishing you and your family the same.

  32. Asking questions are genuinely good thing if you are not understanding anything totally, but this post offers pleasant
    understanding even.

    drömresa

  33. I have appreciated every post this blog has offered to help others understand what you and others are going through. We all need to seek to understand more. One thing that I would like to add though, is that the media has been extremely deceptive about the nature vs nurture debate on who becomes gay. Yes I believe that many people are born with those tendencies, just as everyone is born with their own personalities, weaknesses and strengths. But for the media and “science” to ignore the nurture part of those who become gay is dishonest and destructive. As a leader of young women ages 12-18, I have personally witnessed 3 different young women go from being infatuated with guys and even having a little experience with them, to being chased and hit on by older girls and eventually experimenting with them and then making the change. They went down that road for awhile and two eventually came back, and now they probably claim they are bi, I don’t know, but it is OBVIOUS that orientation can be influenced. Again, I didnt say some were not born that way, or that we should be judgemental, but we should be aware of this other option and offer services to help protect vulnerable people and also those wanting to make a change. It should never be forced on anyone, but it also should not be illegal either. Just something I have been struggling with when people say it’s not a choice and it can’t be changed. Apparently it can, and does, but it should remain a choice to whoever is going through it .

  34. Lolly and Josh,
    Do you answer personal messages? I understand you may get more messages than you can reply to. If you do, I’d like to email you.

  35. There are a lot of hard things in mortality that potentially last a life time that no one will experience in eternity; paralysis, poverty, illness, hunger, misunderstandings, financial problems, emotional problems, and same-sex attraction. Josh will not have same-sex attraction in the next life, so he and his wife can expect to have a more fulfilling relationship in the eternities. Josh wouldn’t divorce his wife if she became paralyzed or they became bankrupt (at least I hope not). Because they want to be with each other and their kids forever, I thought they had the perspective that his same-sex attraction was only a mortal concern.

    1. Well hhe might divorce her if she became paralyzed. Caregiving the paralyzed ain’t no walk in the park. All that lifting and ttansferring not to mention the having to make their home accessible. Did you mean paralyzed from the eyeballs down? That is even harder.

    2. How exactly do you KNOW that Josh will not have same-sex attraction in the next life? If you read church history, you would know that Black people were not going to inheret the celestial kingdom. I remember being taught that blacks were cursed in the pre-existence because of sins they committed before they were born, which included being “lazy” rather than “industrious.” WUUUT?????!!! I am so ashamed of what I used to believe, including that same-sex attraction was a sin. I would be careful about you believe you KNOW. And also these beliefs.. that desperately need to change.. is why so many LGTBQ commit suicide in the LDS church. Same sex attraction is not something to struggle through until you are perfected. They are PERFECT NOW. TODAY.

  36. Thank you both for being so brave to share all this. I know that you can do this, in my circles we would call it an intentional relationship, intentional family, despite the lack of dominant-culture labels for where you now are. I know you can do it because I once did something in the same vein. I lived with a man for long enough to count as a common law marriage and it was, as they say, a companionate relationship without the erotic romantic attachment. For a long time I thought that was enough, and then I realized I was suffering the same sorts of pain you have so eloquently described. My friends mostly told me to break off contact when we split, but instead we defined a new relationship. I was the oldest in my family and my younger brother has since died; we decided that he was effectively my big brother, the first part of what has become my intentional family. That has worked for us. He has helped my buy a house I found in the same neighborhood, he was the one I called when it flooded in an ice storm, he was the one who came in the ice storm with his sump and climbed down into the freezing water in the blackness under the house. Our attachment is deep and lasting, even if few understand it; it has survived him finding and marrying another woman, it has survived my new romances too. We are five years out from the split and still in each other’s wills; we did all this even without the imperative of raising kids. I always thought of it simply as changing the form of the relations to align to the changed reality of who we had become. So I can understand your choices and I support them, and I greatly appreciate your eloquence in describing the journey. I have found so many things in both your writing that resonate with lots of parts of my journey as a Calvinist working on self acceptance. I am rooting for you.

  37. I wish and hope and pray nothing but the very best for your entire family. Praying for grace and love and closeness. Always, for all of you. 💙

  38. What a lovely, well written piece. Congratulations on your 16th anniversary of creating the Weed Family. Here is to a lifetime of memories and adventures together. The journey ahead won’t necessarily be easy, but it never is. How blessed you guys are to have each other in it.

  39. Just wanted to tell you that I think you are Josh and both wonderful. I love this post so much. It says so much about what incredible people both you and Josh are. Dealing with this in a more public way is undoubtably challenging but by speaking out and sharing your feelings and experiences, I believing you are doing an immeasurable amount of good by adding some faces and real emotions to these discussions that people try to reduce to a doctrinal issue that can be easily brushed away. You are amazing. So is Josh. I think the world of you both.

  40. You guys are trying so hard to make the best of an awkward (to say the least) life, can’t help but wish you the best. I came out to myself after marriage and to my wife after children and wish we had had your your good judgement/example. But the timing was wrong–we are now looking forward to our 45th anniversary this fall. Early on hormones may overcome gender dissonance, but it eventually catches up. Not having that initial “romantic attraction” as you put it, Lolly, takes its toll. Sure we agree on politics, religion, books, movies, travel, and so on, but when health and other issues arise as we age, we can’t rely on those romantic memories. My wife suffers from knowing that she’s never been appreciated as a sexual being and I miss from never having physically loved anyone. This may sound trivial–“there’s more to life than sex,” but it is what it is. Couple who share romantic attachments but little else make for great romcom movies, but it will catch up with them as well. Everyone needs a second chance at first year in college, maybe with marriage as well.

  41. I absolutely adore your family and have so much respect for you all. My thoughts are this-I am in a heterosexual marriage where the romance and chemistry are there (we had to get married fast to make it to the temple😂). But that chemistry is strong and it increases and wanes and sometimes is not present for long periods of time in a marriage. And further, I find it the least fulfilling part of our marriage. My deep love for my husband, my admiration and adoration for my husband and our deep friendship are my far the MOST fulfilling parts of our marriage by FAR. I’m not saying it goes and never comes back. I’m just saying the other parts of our relationship I would trade for romantic love any day and I have felt a STRONG sense of both. You guys have something special, and I get wanting to experience chemistry, but it is more of a beginning part of a relationship to attract partners to each other. Keep in mind what you have and remember not to feel overwhelmed as you move forward. There is so much rarity and beautiful value in the friendship you have. Seek this in your next relationship and you will not be disappointed. It sounds horrible but my relationship and friendship with my husband is beautiful and rare. I count myself blessed everyday. Much love to the weed family as you move forward.

  42. This is both an inspiring and hurting comment at the same time. its much hurting esp when you say you are not broken by the move. I thought, or rather, i prayed that you could remain stuck together as a weed family. I still pray that you could have a change of thought. You know we all love you and you’ve been such a great inspiration to us. I have learnt alot from you people and i dont think i am psychologically graduated. I need more lessons. In the meantime, let me order some Poetry Valley from mocdelivery.com and let you decide if you’re gonna let us fall or not,,,of course i know you wont

  43. My friend’s story. He married a woman in the temple and had children, then he came out as gay, left his family and the church to go experience all his fantasies with other men. Then he came back to his wife and children. She took him back – amazing! In the end, he decided either life would leave him unfulfilled in some way. He chose his family and God over his lustful desires. He decided his family brought more fulfillment to his life than a relationship with another man. It seems to me Josh is one lucky guy, he gets to have his cake and eat it too, lol. Perhaps Josh needs the chance to experience a sexual relationship with other men, in order to realize his life with you and the girls is fulfilling enough.

    1. Perhaps Lolly could also have a relationship with another man. Wonen have sex drives too despite what the Mormon patriarchy tells you.

      1. LOL, I never said women don’t have sex drives. In my story, it just didn’t happened to be the woman who left her family in search of sex with another woman. Why don’t you share that story if you ever hear of it 🙂

  44. Another story: My relative felt a strong desire to molest her own children (she was NOT a victim of abuse). She never acted on the desire but eventually she got to where she was afraid to give them baths or change their diapers, for fear that she would act out her desires. She knew exactly what to do, luckily she never did it. She told her husband and finally sought help. Well, it turned out she was possessed by an unclean spirit, someone who had lived on this earth before and was a child molester, who did not go to the light when she died, but instead sought out another body to continue her desires of the flesh. Christ cast out a lot of spirits. There’s no denying the influence of spirits is real, and just because we desire something doesn’t mean we should act out on it. I suspect that once we act out on something it becomes a part of who we are, no longer just a desire placed upon us. I’m sure there can be multiple reasons why someone desires the same gender. However, I sure hope that anybody who has that desire at least entertains the idea that their desires are being influenced by a spirit that needs cast out, perhaps a spirit that has been possessing/influencing them since birth. We also know that Christ cast a spirit out of a child. We know from the scriptures, there a many different types of spirits, unclean spirits, evil spirits, devils. It’s a topic Christians and church members should not be so afraid of discussing and recognizing. It’s a reality, a part of this earth life. However, there’s no reason to fear, Satan wants us to fear, but Christ has power over Satan so there’s no reason to fear. There is no reason to fear Satan, or the topic of Satan. Not if we have faith in Christ. I believe in Christ.

  45. Gosh, there are so many thoughts I have about this, and in reality they may change again. This whole thing is heartbreaking to me. It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that somehow you guys tried to fit yourselves into some strange ideal. Get married have 3.4 kids buy the house with the white picket fence and somehow this will fix things. I looked at those books on your website and I thought, “How horrible to have to go through life hearing some of these things and believing them.” They aren’t the truth though are they. The truth is that in the Garden of Gethsemane there was not one everriding plan fashioned, but literally billions of plans created and no two plans look alike. Yes, there are some hard and fast rules. Like don’t commit murder or sleep with your neighbors wife. Somehow I hope you can find true happiness and Joy, and I really hope Josh can come to see himself as not broken before he gets into another relationship. It seems to me that you guys tried your own conversion therapy plan and came to see that it didn’t work. We can’t fix ourselves. Only the Savior has that power. Jesus is the Christ He never leaves us alone and He’s already been there before we have. Remember it’s called the Plan of Salvation, not Damnation. He’s trying to save us through all this pain and suffering we have to endure, and He always has a backup plan. I wish you all the Joy in your life……Oh, and don’t listen to some crazy comment about possession an child molestation. I know you won’t, but still i’d be embarrassed to put my name on that one. It must be eyebrow raising to read some of this stuff.

  46. Where is your “all for sex” post? It’s says here it comes out “next week” but I don’t see anything. My understanding is that you both truly love each other but because you can never experience romantic love (or at least Josh can’t) you got divorced. I realize that is a very simplified version of a complicated issue, but does that sound accurate?

  47. Thank you for any other great article. Where else could anybody get
    that kind of info in such a perfect method of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look for
    such info.

  48. “In fact, he is more of a victim that I am. Again, I need to remind everyone that I got to live a normal heterosexual adolescence filled with fun crushes and dreams of finding true love. Josh never did.” – F.C.S.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.