The Church Tried to Force Me Straight (The Opposite of Love is Shame: Part 10)

I eventually opened up to a pastor’s wife about the whole lesbian thing, and she tried to help as best as she knew how, but in her eyes, it was an abomination. So, her and her husband came up with a solution to my problem. I would find a good fundamentalist man to marry as quickly as I could. As long as he was a good fundamentalist, that was the only criteria I had to worry about.

As it turns out, I eventually did find a good fundamentalist man to marry. He was from the United States and we talked on the computer mostly, but he also bought international phone cards so that he could call me on occasion, and those occasions increased the further into the relationship that we got. We talked for three months before he flew out to Australia for three weeks, during which he stayed at my apartment but we told the church he was staying at the backpackers hostel because him staying at my house while we were not married would be too much temptation, and besides, other people would assume that we were having sex even if we weren’t and so it was an “appearance of evil” and we could not allow for that. In those three weeks, we got engaged.

People were so happy for us. I was finally going to be straight because I was marrying a man, and he was finally going to get to have sex. It was a win-win, except that it wasn’t. During our marriage counseling, the pastor reminded me that I absolutely had to submit to my husband and that part of that submission was having sex with him every single time he wanted it, no excuses. He also told my husband that he needed to be sure to ravage me properly on our wedding night. I was suddenly scared, but I had just left an entire life in Australia and come to America with two duffle bags and four hundred Australian dollars. There was no turning back.

On my wedding night, I knew deep into my soul that I had made a huge mistake. But I did not really have any options and absolutely could not go back to Australia because I was pregnant. I honestly thought that I loved him, and was doing my best to “obey God” which is why I actually married him, to show God that I was straight now, which was not fair to him. But I did want to have a godly relationship and I tried hard, for seven years. At the five year point I knew for sure that we weren’t going to make it, but divorce was a sin. I was in a foreign country with a pending immigration status, with small children, and no real friends. There was no place for me to go.

My husband had strict fundamentalist friends telling him to get rid of me and marry a Christian woman. They said I was not Christian and therefore the marriage covenant was void, and they could tell that I was not a Christian because I refused to be a submissive bitch, even though I tried really, really hard because I wanted God to love me.

I had connected love with violence, and I was deeply ashamed of it because somehow I knew I was a freak. I needed something more resembling a BDSM relationship in order to even cope with sex at all. I had known this from the time I was young as my parents beating me elicited sexual responses from my body that I could not control, so even though I was in pain, I craved more pain because they only hit me because they loved me. This was another thing that caused me shame, because somehow I knew it was messed up but couldn’t figure out why. It was another one of those things that I could never tell a soul and needed to carry to the grave.

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