Wait a Minute, A Mixed What?

Mike AllenMike Allen lives with his wife and daughter in Shanghai, China, where he teaches English at a private Chinese school. He volunteers with an international youth group, and he blogs in his spare time about faith, sexuality, and life as an expat in China at Adventure in Shanghai.

To most people most of the time, I’m just married. They see me with my wife and daughter, and just see a normal family. Every so often, however, I mention that I’m in a mixed orientation marriage. Then, the response is usually something like, “Wait a minute, a mixed what?” accompanied by a befuddled gaze. I elaborate, and the person then stumbles awkwardly through the conversation, asking in several different ways if, by that, I mean that although I’m married to a woman, I am gay. Once I’ve confirmed that they’ve understood correctly, the befuddled gaze doesn’t always go away.

It’s hard enough for many people to get past the gay-and-Christian part, let alone the gay-and-married-to-a-woman bit. Most people just don’t have a category in their minds for something like this. How in the world can a marriage even exist under such circumstances? Why would either party want it to? Upon what is such a marriage built?

Marriage isn’t something that I set out looking for. When I first met Anna, who is now my wife, I intended to pursue a life of celibacy. And, like a soft continuationist concerning the charismatic spiritual gifts, I didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of the miracle of an orientation change at some point in my future, if God so desired it. But it wasn’t something I counted on or actively sought. This part of my life was marked by periods of real spiritual growth and close communion with Christ, as well as times of faithlessness and desperate grabs at happiness outside of God’s design. And through it all, there was Anna right beside me. We became close confidants and shared everything with each other. Our bond grew as time passed, and I think we both gradually understood that such a relationship between a man and woman (one that I had never before experienced) would inevitably lead to marriage, though the idea seemed impossible, and we couldn’t see how that transition would actually take place.

The steady and unmoved relationship that Anna and I had enjoyed for several years as friends underwent a lot of changes in 2007. We felt that, ultimately, something would have to give. It was unfair for me to occupy the place in Anna’s life that I did but never take the step to marry her. People everywhere assumed that we were a couple already, and I couldn’t imagine any possible future husband of hers being comfortable with our relationship. And surprisingly enough, I wasn’t comfortable with another man taking a preeminent emotional place in her life. One way or another, the dynamics of our friendship would have to change.

I was overwhelmed. I had no idea what moving forward romantically would even look like, and I feared that the most responsible thing to do would be to eventually give up my best friend. We decided at several points throughout that year to spend time apart. But we lived in central China at the time, and being Christians and foreigners, our social circle was quite small and consisted of all the same people. So these periods of separation never lasted very long; it just wasn’t feasible.

Our other course of action was to go to the nice little green space in the middle of Anna’s apartment complex and plead with God to make me straight. (We spent several nights doing this.) We look back now and chuckle at how pathetic we must have looked to the people looking down from their balconies as we cried, prayed, and sang in this strange foreign tongue.

When it became apparent that God wasn’t going to change my orientation and we just didn’t have the strength or determination to separate ourselves, a third option finally became a serious possibility in my mind. I loved Anna, and she loved me. And I couldn’t imagine spending my life without her in it. So maybe marriage is what God had in mind for us after all. And maybe he wanted to do something even more remarkable than making me straight in order to make it work. So with much fear and trepidation, we got married the following year.

That was a little over six years ago, and without a lot of guidance on how to walk this thing out, it’s been a messy process thus far. The fortunate thing for us is, unlike many couples in mixed-orientation marriages, we both came into this thing fully aware of each other’s past and present realities. I was not in the closet nor was I the product of any ex-gay program. There was no pretense: I was a gay man, but I loved Anna in a way that I couldn’t explain, and I felt drawn, one might say destined, to marry her. We felt like we knew, as well as we could, what we were getting into. But, as with all marriages, you can’t really know until you’re in the thick of it.

Our marriage is based on our commitment to each other and on our deep friendship and love. But sometimes, for both of us, that’s just not enough. Natural physical attraction is obviously an important aspect of a romantic relationship in the minds of most. A quick reading of The Song of Solomon tells me that the Bible assumes that it is a powerful and present reality in the typical healthy marriage. For me, it is much more natural to experience that with a man. In my marriage, it is usually emotionally intimate situations that lead to physical intimacy. I’m certain the emotional bond with one’s spouse is a more important element than natural physical attraction. But this doesn’t mean that we both don’t sometimes feel the sting of longing for what feels like a missing puzzle piece. Anna decided to marry me because I loved her, was committed to her, and made her feel valued and cherished. But sometimes, she just wishes that she had a husband who had a natural desire for her, who could delight in her femininity the way that Solomon delighted in his bride.

The hurdle isn’t physical attraction alone. Somehow wrapped up in that instinctual attraction, is the way that a (straight) man connects emotionally to a woman. I often find it much easier to relate to Anna as a dear friend than as the object of my romantic affection. This is obviously hard for Anna, but I too, have sometimes grown weary. There have been times when I’ve felt almost a sense of despair when faced with Anna’s emotional needs, while still having a void of my own. I’ve longed for a relationship in which I could give and receive in a way that felt more natural and left me more energized rather than drained. It’s hard to put into words exactly what I mean, but I’ve explained to Anna before that the way I’m inclined to relate romantically to a man isn’t the same as a woman is; it’s like a third thing. It’s something that I suppose only another gay man would understand. It’s the ability for the other person to meet me there that I sometimes miss and long for. The challenges we face in this area have, at times, left Anna and me frustrated and discontent, wishing we were in relationships with different people or even that we weren’t in a relationship at all.

It’s been hard, but we stay because we genuinely do love each other and have made a covenant with each other before God. We do not belong to ourselves; we belong to him, and we belong to each other. Marriage means expectations that I feel utterly incapable of meeting, and living according to biblical principles means the very real loss of something that feels (at least to this 21st century Westerner) essential to a complete, fulfilled life. But following Jesus is always costly, and anyone who doesn’t feel that is probably not really following Jesus. And he calls me to lay down my life for Anna. Jesus laid his down for me, so how can I respond in any other way?

It’s worth mentioning that while the particularities of our situation are somewhat unique, hardship in marriage is a universal experience. Paul tells us as much in 1 Corinthians 7:28. And the call to self denial for the sake of one’s wife is given to every Christian husband (Ephesians 5:25-33). In this way, my marriage with Anna is not all that different from the typical heterosexual marriage.

After sharing some of this, I’m typically challenged by well-meaning Christians with the notion that I’d be better off if I would just drop the “gay” label, that it’s somehow keeping me trapped in an identity crisis. I understand where they are coming from, but I didn’t just start dealing with this yesterday. It’s not a novel idea they’re presenting, this rejection of the g-word. In fact, it’s only within the last year that I’ve comfortably, confidently called myself a gay Christian.

I grew up in and out of church in the Bible Belt, and by the time I was in college, the only narrative I’d ever heard from the church about gay people is that they were going to hell. I knew that they (we) needed to repent, but of what? Of actions? Of thoughts? Of something more intrinsic? Amidst the confusion, it was in college that I first understood the gospel in a saving way: that Jesus had atoned for whatever it was about me that deserved judgment, that he had reconciled me to the Father.

In light of the way the very limited conversation on homosexuality was framed, I eventually felt obligated, pressured perhaps, not to refer to myself as “gay,” and opted for phrases like “same-sex attracted” when discussing the matter. But rejecting the label didn’t negate the reality that it describes. The only psychological effect that it had was negative. I felt disingenuous, like I was mincing words, and that the whole business of dancing around this little three-letter word was rather silly, making it hard for the gay-affirming people in my life to take me seriously—especially those who were gay themselves.

Every challenge that a gay person trying to live a biblically chaste life would face was a challenge for me. And every difficulty that a gay person would have if married to someone of the opposite sex was present in my life. So no, the absence of the word “gay” in my vocabulary didn’t do a thing to help me identify more with the gospel or live a more victorious Christian life.

What has been helpful for me is the growing number of gay Christians who have been willing to acknowledge their sexual orientation and that it does indeed play a big part in how they experience the world, yet are committed to living according to the traditional sex ethic. The articles and discussions featured on Spiritual Friendship have been particularly beneficial in allowing me to make sense of things in my life. It seems to me that the approach represented by SF is the most intellectually honest, and it is the one that deals most responsibly with scripture, culture, and the overall gay experience.

I feel like I’ve been given permission to talk about myself in a clearer more honest way, which has alleviated a lot of frustration in me and led to much better communication with Anna. It hasn’t made this road we’re walking any less challenging, but it has made me a better companion for the journey.

See also Mike’s follow-up post, which clarifies some confusion about what he was trying to say here.

26 thoughts on “Wait a Minute, A Mixed What?

  1. Wow! Thanks for this, Mike. Incredibly open, humble, and honest. It’s so refreshing to simply hear someone’s story, complete with struggles, victories, failed solutions, complexity, and beauty. I’ve been really wanting to hear more about LGBT peoples’ experiences apart from the arguments and politics (whether pro or con).

    I’m fine having the intellectual and theological conversations, but I never want to lose sight of the fact that we’re talking about real people whom Christ loves and died for. This post helped me understand mixed-orientation marriages so much better, and I really deeply appreciate your courage and openness in sharing it.

  2. Hi Mike, thanks so much for sharing your story here. I too have had a complicated relationship with the “rather silly” three-letter word, but have grown to appreciate its use in the past year. I have been in a mixed-orientation marriage with a straight woman for the past ten years, and we also have had our share of challenges and seasons of joy… like most other marriages, I would assume, haha. I just thought I’d let you know how much I appreciate your courage in sharing your story and opening up this part of your life to people. We live in challenging times, and my sincere hope is that the Church will learn how to walk with those of us who live part of our lives on the fringe of “socially acceptable Christianity.”

    Blessings to you and your wife during this Epiphany season,
    Nate

  3. Mike, this is a powerful testimony of God’s sustaining grace in the face of nearly insurmountable odds. You and your wife are incredibly courageous! Your words give me hope and motivation to “keep on keeping on.” God is, as well, giving my wife and I grace and courage to face each new day in the power of the Holy Spirit. We can be victorious…all of us!

    You are a blessing!!

  4. Love your story! I’ve been married 25 years to my wife, only I didn’t let her know about my SSA until 9 years and 3 kids in. ”Surprise!”

    God’s grace overcame her pain and my fearful insecurity. Now after six kids and being open with our church and family, we love each other I more deeply than ever.

    Nathan (above) and I were facebooking back and forth a couple weeks ago about how awesome it would be to have a men’s retreat with us guys in MOM’s. To be able to share our fears, our weaknesses, our victories, our stories and so on…

    Count me in. Midwest, anyone?

    • I told my wife 10 years in. She stuck it out another 8. I wish we had found better support for her. We felt so alone. I wasn’t aware of other marriages out there like ours that we might’ve found some support and encouragement from. Blessings!

  5. Reblogged this on Adventure in Shanghai and commented:
    I recently had the privilege of writing a guest post for the Spiritual Friendship blog. The site has been an encouraging resource for me for the past year or so, and I was honored to be asked to contribute to the ongoing conversation over there. Many thanks to Ron for all of the editorial guidance and, of course, to Anna, faithful and courageous, for spurring me on to do this when I might have turned back at several points.

  6. Thanks to all for the encouraging words. It’s great to know that there are those out there who’ve been at this a lot longer than my wife and I have and are experiencing God’s sustaining grace.

  7. I had hoped that Spiritual Friendship would address this issue, especially in the wake of that TLC show. The reasons people have for entering into these types of relationships are fascinating to me. I think, however, that there are some serious questions yet to be answered.

    Since reorientation therapy is becoming less intellectually sustainable, will this be latched onto by the Culture Warriors as their latest one-size-fits-all solution to the problem of homosexuality? If it is, will some gay individuals be implicitly coerced into relationships like this even if those relationships are inappropriate for them? What objective standards will be used to discern the difference between those for whom such an arrangement is viable and those for whom it isn’t?

    Mike Allen’s discernment process, at least as he’s described it here, doesn’t seem to offer very many good answers. It seems as though he entered into marriage, at least initially, in order to obtain some measure of emotional satisfaction for himself. In many ways, we’ve already dealt with these types of relationships in the gay community. One does not have to look too far to find gay men and women who, once having been married to an opposite-sex partner for 10, 20 or more years, suddenly “come out” and divorce. It also ought to be remarked that sexual orientation wasn’t always kept a secret during the life of these marriages. How will Mr. Allen’s marriage be different? It’s true that he may appeal to God’s grace in order to sustain his marriage in perpetuity, and God may oblige, but that has always seemed to me to be a copout meant to excuse whatever lapses in reason a given position entails. There has to be some reasonable level of feasibility, otherwise we’re just putting God to the test.

    It must never be forgotten that real men and women are involved in arrangements like this, to say nothing of children. Proposing, as a possible solution to homosexuality, what may amount to a marriage of convenience, is a gross injustice to both spouses and any offspring they may have. If the right of a child to both his father and his mother is to mean anything at all, then the arrangement must reasonably presume stability. If it won’t, or can’t, I’d have to ask in what sense it is a marriage at all.

    • Hi irksome,

      I think you raise some valid concerns. I’ve put myself out there, so my choices are fair game for critique.


      I want to be clear that I certainly don’t see my story as a model to be followed. The whole thing was rather messy, and as you stated, I’m sure my discernment process wasn’t the best during all of it. No doubt, my judgment was often clouded by fear, desire, and a whole host of other things I’m probably unaware of. But I know few people who can honestly say anything different for themselves, leading up to marriage. 


      It’s true that emotional satisfaction played a factor in my deciding to get married. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone for whom it wasn’t. But it would be incorrect to assume that this was the standalone driving force behind my decision. My wife and I both entered into this understanding that it was a weighty decision that would mean a lot of sacrifice and dying to self. As Jim L mentioned, that’s true of all marriages, and wouldn’t a couple’s understanding and expectation of that be more solid grounds for marriage than raw sex appeal? 



      My opinion doesn’t amount to much, but I see celibacy as a sort of default vocation for gay Christians, unless extenuating circumstances arise. Who’s to say what objective standards those circumstances should be measured by? I don’t know. I think every situation is as varied as the individuals who are in them.

      My story isn’t a prescription for gay Christians. It’s just a story. And God is in it and has been in it all along the way. That much is evident. I’m not made of tough enough stuff to have weathered the short time that I have on my own strength.


  8. Questioning the motive in our marriages is reasonable. I’ve not seen the TLC show.

    But do you lay that question aside in a marriage with traditional opposite sex attraction and assume that the sexual attraction itself will be the glue that sufficiently holds the marriage together? We know how that narrative begins and ends all too often. Of course sexual desire helps. Sometimes, a lot.

    I am the first to admit that though I’ve done this for 25 years, 16 of it fully exposed, and though my spiritual gifts include discernment and exhortation, I am still at a loss to know the “criteria” for what guys with SSA should consider marriage.

    The advice I give in one of the online groups I’m (about 100 SSA men, some married, mostly single) when asked what I think about them marrying someday, is “having same sex attraction does NOT automatically disqualify you from marrying a woman; but don’t think marrying a woman will fix you or will be easy.” I go on to say that if you are fully following Christ, and you would love to be a husband and father, seek wise counsel on this. Sexual desire is a big thing. You need to fully understood your wife’s need for you to love, honor and cherish her not just emotionally but sexually. You’ll need to let go of what you think you need and give yourself fully to her as God intended. And don’t do as I did and go into marriage thinking everything would just work out. It might not have in my case (and we had a lot to deal with when I opened up to her), but God was gracious, as was my wife.

    I can give you a list of marriages around me that imploded because of the man’s SSA. Most of them started the marriage with the guy closeted, but not all. It does take a unique woman to love a man with SSA, but they are out there. Marriages fall apart for a lot of reasons, but in these newly-called “MOM’s”, when both man and wife fully follow Christ, and both go into the marriage with all the cards on the table, it CAN work. Both husband and wife have to die to themselves daily. But don’t we all?

  9. Thank you, Mike, for sharing your story. I was in a mixed-orientation marriage (gay man / straight woman) for over 18 years until God called my wife home. I am now embracing celibacy but am open to remarriage if God leads me in that direction.

    I believe that God gives Christian men two choices for their life path: celibacy or opposite-sex marriage. Paul writes that celibacy is the better option, but marriage is perfectly acceptable. I also believe that these options are available for ALL men – gay or straight – and, consequently, that gay men can choose the marriage option with confidence (realizing that a strong dose of fear and trembling is natural!). If celibacy is chosen, then it can be considered a gift and not a curse.

    My wife and I entered marriage with our eyes open, each aware of the other’s significant weaknesses, going through extensive premarital counselling, and preparing ourselves for the challenges ahead. Marriage is the uniting of two imperfect people who are choosing to become one, and as they draw closer together, the sparks will fly. This is true of everyone. We need to realize that gay men do not have a monopoly on difficulty where marriage is concerned. My marriage was wonderful, awful, beautiful, ugly, simple, complicated and as God-honouring as we could make it. It was a vehicle through which we could submit to the process of sanctification in our lives. In this regard, we were the same as everyone else.

    Lately I’ve been meditating on the similarities between salvation/sanctification and marriage/love. In both cases, there is a starting point followed by progressive growth. Similar to the moment of salvation when I surrendered my life to Christ, there was a specific point in time when I exercised my faith and surrendered to the marriage option. In following through with my decision to marry, I was placing my faith in God’s ability to help me love my wife and contribute effectively toward a healthy and successful marriage. My wedding day was one of those stake-planting moments when I chose to claim His ability to free me sufficiently for an abundant life with my wife. It kick-started me on a path toward learning how to love her. That love was tested to the limits when she began to struggle with cancer. As each body part was lopped off and her body ballooned because of chemo treatments and her hair fell out and she lost all semblance of physical beauty, I learned that love is not connected to our attractions. Neither is it connected to romance or sex. True love, as Jesus taught us, is sacrificial and is disconnected from ‘gay or straight’. It can be learned and experienced by everyone.

    I am passionate about the validity of mixed-orientation marriage as an appropriate option for gay men – not as a cure-all, but as a beautiful gift from God and a propellant toward Christlikeness. Thanks again, Mike, for opening up the discussion. (Jim L, let me know when you and Nathan confirm that men’s retreat!)

  10. Thank you, Mike, for sharing your story. I was in a mixed-orientation marriage (gay man / straight woman) for over 18 years until God called my wife home. I am now embracing celibacy but am open to remarriage if God leads me in that direction.

    I believe that God gives Christian men two choices for their life path: celibacy or opposite-sex marriage. Paul writes that celibacy is the better option, but marriage is perfectly acceptable. Furthermore, I believe that these options are available for ALL men – gay or straight – and, consequently, that gay men can choose the marriage option with confidence (recognizing that a strong dose of fear and trembling is natural!). If celibacy is chosen, then it can be considered a gift and not a curse.

    My wife and I entered marriage with our eyes open, each aware of the other’s significant weaknesses, going through extensive premarital counselling, and preparing ourselves for the challenges ahead. Marriage is the uniting of two imperfect people who are choosing to become one, and as they draw closer together, the sparks will fly. This is true of everyone. We need to realize that gay men do not have a monopoly on difficulty where marriage is concerned. My marriage was wonderful, awful, beautiful, ugly, simple, complicated and as God-honouring as we could make it. It was a vehicle through which we could submit to the process of sanctification in our lives. In this regard, we were the same as everyone else who enters into marriage.

    Lately I’ve been meditating on the similarities between salvation/sanctification and marriage/love. In both cases, there is a starting point followed by progressive growth. Similar to the moment of my salvation, there was a specific point in time when I exercised my faith and surrendered to the marriage option. In making a decision to marry, I was placing my faith in God’s ability to help me love my wife and contribute effectively toward a healthy and successful marriage. My wedding day was one of those stake-planting moments when I chose not to lean on my own understanding or my natural inclinations and, instead, set a new trajectory toward an abundant life with my wife. It kick-started me on a path toward learning how to love her. That love was tested to its limits when she began to struggle with cancer. As each body part was lopped off and her body ballooned because of chemo treatments and her hair fell out and she lost all semblance of physical beauty, I learned that love is not connected to our attractions. Neither is it connected to romance or sex. True love, as Jesus taught us, is sacrificial, focusing on another’s needs and not our own. It can be learned and experienced by everyone. Gay men can love their wives.

    I am passionate about the validity of mixed-orientation marriage as an appropriate option for gay men – not as a cure-all, but as a beautiful expression of God’s love for us, and as a propellant toward Christlikeness. Thanks again, Mike, for opening up the discussion. (Jim L, let me know when you and Nathan confirm your men’s retreat!)

  11. Although I often shy away from such discussions, I feel as if it is my place, as Mike’s wife, to respond directly to your statement Irksome12.

    Firstly, what marriage is not a marriage of convenience? What marriage doesn’t, in some way, fulfill the parties involved emotionally? We marry, because we, essentially, like a person. We like the way he/she thinks, what he/she is interested in, his/her upright character, his/her intense love for God, and yes, his/her body. But, are our marriages only allowed to be centered on the physical?

    When embarking upon marriage, we hope to have all of our wishes, dreams, and desires fulfilled. And, for the most part, we will ultimately be let down. No one person can do all of that. Are there things that I miss out on by being married to a gay man? Yes, of course. Although our intimate relationship is very real and fulfilling, he will probably never be caught daydreaming about how amazingly beautiful I am. Are there things that I would miss out on if I weren’t married to the man that I’m married to? Absolutely.

    I am a member of a large body of women online who look to live more natural lifestyles. The main topics brought up for discussion? Divorce. Physical and emotional abuse. How the women hate their husbands–their straight husbands. Marriage, in whatever context, is hard. Marriage, in whatever context, can be unstable. BUT marriage, in whatever context, can also be a beautiful picture of the relationship that Christ experiences with his church. In that relationship, there is love, there is emotional connection, there is a steady and unchanging dedication, and most of all, there is sacrifice.

    There is not an instance here where Mike claims that this should be a one-sized-fits all answer to homosexuality. In fact, I believe that he would warn those considering marriage that they should approach it with fear and trembling. Just as Paul warns us, relationships take the best and bring out the worst in us. Stick a kid in there, and oh my goodness, we’ve got to cling to the mercy of Christ just to make it from moment to moment. Is there a marriage for which this isn’t the case?

    You state his discernment process offers few good answers. I would ask you, to what questions? This appears, to me, to be more of a conversation starter than a how-to-guide. It is my prayer that, in the years to come, we may have more answers to the questions people ask. But, as for most married people out there, we’re just feeling our way through this adventure as we go. Now that may not be good enough for those who want clear cut answers to why and how we are married, but as with all marriages, the inner complexities of creating a life and joy through union are unique.

    The terrible fear of mixed-orientation couples divorcing is about as reasonable as fearing that any couple will get divorced. Shall heterosexuals not marry, because the general public is afraid that one spouse might cheat on the other? I would argue that many heterosexual marriages are built on less than most mixed-orientation marriages. When physical attraction clouds the mind and sex becomes the base of a couple’s companionship, it is difficult to weather the hard times.

    And, lastly, let me assure you that, yes, we are both very real people with very real struggles and victories. We have a very real daughter who thrives in our household. She has enjoyed more stability and warmth in her 5 years than either of us enjoyed in our homes with heterosexual parents growing up. This is not to say that our parents didn’t try, but this truth does still remain.

    I wish you all the best and hope that your view of mixed-orientation marriage has been broadened by this discussion.

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  18. I can totally relate to your story. I’m kinda at the same point with my gay best friend. We are both saved and trying to live for Christ. We love each other, we are open and honest with each other To be honest I don’t think I have ever been so open with a man then I am with him. I have never considered a mixed-orientation marriage before. To be honest I didn’t even know it was a thing. The kind of emotional intimacy I experience with him is very real. I’m scared, it is a huge leap of faith for the both of us and it could not work out. If it does work out, we would experience what it means to truly serve Christ together, we would experience how Christ loved the church. I’m fairly young (20) and hes about 26, and we are considering dating. I would love some advice, finding your story has been very helpful during this time

    • Hi Sophie,

      I apologize for this late reply. I haven’t blogged in some time, and I only recently happened to see the notification of your comment.

      As everyone’s situation is unique, and in light of the very limited knowledge I have of you and your friend, I hesitate to offer too much advice beyond encouraging you to keep doing what you’re already doing: open, honest communication, and seeking the support of others you trust or who have similar experiences, and of course, prayer.

      Generally speaking, I think it’s also essential to be vigilant about maintaining a biblical perspective of what marriage is. Thinking of my marriage as a calling to love, sacrifice for, and serve my wife, my friend, has been immensely helpful for me just from a psychological standpoint. This wards off discontentment that might arise in me due to imagining what might have been had I made different choices. I think my wife would say the same for herself. In fact, this is important for any married person, as doubt and regret can creep into anyone’s mind as life struggles or just boredom with the mundane nature of daily life threaten to breed discontentment. I can say that over time, even since I wrote this blog post and the one after it, our relationship has only grown more solid and stable. Not that we’re constantly walking around in wedded bliss. (We still have the occasional epic battle in our living room.) But there’s just more of a sense of stability, like we’re in this for the long haul, and we’re a team. And we can count on each other. I think that just comes with time and weathering things together.

      I do hope good things for you and your friend, and will pray for wisdom and for God’s strength and protection for you both. He’s a good shepherd, and whatever route the two of you decide to take, you can take comfort in that.

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