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[QUOTE=Veronica_Mars]Hi there Hiya,

It just makes me so sad that you feel guilty about things you shouldn't ever feel guilty about. Maybe I'm off base here, but it seems that religion has made you feel like sex for pleasure and intimacy is a bad, immoral thing, and I strongly believe that this view is horrific in how much unnecessary suffering and isolation it has caused. In fact, that is the main reason I have always avoided any sort of religious beliefs...they seem to be almost wholly responsible for all the traumatizing, misplaced guilt people feel. I mean, for you to think you did something horrible (by not ending up with an abusive jerk who treated you terribly) and that as a result, some god is going to punish you with misery and loneliness for the rest of your life just doesn't seem right to me. Why would anyone worship such a cruel, merciless, and vengeful god? Maybe I shouldn't say this, because I know religion comforts people and all, but I just can't help but think it is an entirely malevolent force is the universe and in the lives of individuals, as the case of an intelligent highly astute person like you illustrates. You already seem to know that the religious people you associate with are illogical and flat out wrong about sex, population control, civil rights for minorities and homosexuals, war-mongering religious and nationalistic crusades, if we should be gleeful about destroying the environment, and just about everything else.

Basically, to get along with religious people like your ex would require you to be a total fascist fundamentalist who truly wanted all women to live like women under the Taliban. I just think you are tormenting yourself over things that you can't, and shouldn't, ever change, like your sensitivity, perceptiveness, intelligence, and conscience. the world can be a very lonely place for extremely enlightened women, and if anything, you should blame that along with other people's (mainly your ex's) ignorance for you being alone. You definitely shouldn't blame your ideas, actions, feelings nor yourself in any way for your situation, because you can't blame yourself for things that exist outside your control. You are a very wise and good person, and I hope you always keep that in mind, though I understand that you can't help feeling regretful about your life so far. But seriously, it isn't your fault! You should really really forgive yourself and try to let go of as much guilt as just seems to be holding you back and keeping you sad, which I really hate to see.[/QUOTE]

Oh Stacy, thanks so much for your kind words. I so appreciate them. I don't want anyone to think I started this thread to get a big dose of sympathy, I dont' know, maybe a part of me did on some level, but I just wanted to address Eve's nice words to me, and some days are better than others, but it's still such a struggle for me.

For the most part, I do agree with you on the harm religous zealots can do in the name of the Lord. Sometimes I wish I could let it go, but I just can't help it. I don't think I could live in a world where there wasn't some sort of moral structure, some sense of wrong and right, and good receiving kind and evil and ill will receiving kind as well. And as for sex, no, I'm not one of those people who feels it's only to make babies. It serves a very important purpose in bonding and increasing intimacy between couples. And I can only imagine how good it feels when done correctly!! But I think that's just my sensibility. I think even if I were an atheist, I still would have a hard time having sex without love and trust and a bond and a promise of it being something more than just fun for the moment. It just makes me go "ick" inside. Believe me, I'm not a frigid rigid with no sex drive. God, how I wish I were!! The ex used to tease me all the time, saying "man, you're a horny little thing, aren't you??" It's hard to reconcile having such a strong, to the point of being troublesome and distracting, sex drive and not being able to really enjoy it with someone I'm not in love with. IF I has sex and physical intimacy as often as I wanted it, I'd never get anything else done. But that emotional element, that bond and trust, just has to be there.

I just feel bad that I let my frustration get to me and I said things I didn't even really mean. He was sooooo hard headed with me, and made such a stink about divorce, ranting that some commercial didn't show the father and how awful that is, and if I said "well, the demographic is to women since they do the shopping" he'd rant more. I liked Full House, and he said what a crappy show it was because it showed an unconventional family in a positive light. I was like "well, the mother died and the father needed help, so he got his dead wife's brother and his college friend and now they're a wacky, silly family that silly things happen to blah blah" "well, I don't care, they shouldn't be showing that" He hated Friends, which I loved, and just, I said black and he'd say white, and now to find out that he's raising two of another man's three kids, who his wife and her first husband split up like property, the two little sisters not even getting to grow up with their big sister, a split up family, discord between his wife and her ex, and he would rather be a part of that than be with me after all he said. It's the betrayal, the feeling of having been lied to and played for such a frickin' fool, and that my faith was used as a tool to help perpetuate that lie, that gets me most. He would take a hard line, and I'd counter and end up taking a harder line than I normally would have, then he would wince and frown and say "why are you like that?" and used that as the excuse to leave me, almost like whacking someone in the leg then dumping them because you don't want to be with someone who limps. I wish I had another love story. I wish I had met someone else in the past 8 years, even if it didn't last, just to not have that as my one and only experience with love, just so I could say someone else cared, I'm more than just the only woman the ex ever dated that he didn't want and dumped. Which brings me to the other point. I've always really admired Marie Osmond and after her divorce, she met her second husband about 5 months after her divorce and she knew she wanted to marry him after four dates. Yes, about 10 years into the marriage they split for a while, when she had her post partum stuff, but they got back together and are stronger than ever. I remember she said once that when she met her second husband that "Someone (meaning God) must have been looking out for me." because He sent her her second husband. Less than a year after her final papers were signed, the TTE was shacked up with my ex, so God was looking out for her, too. I don't feel like I have any other choice but to believe, not even believe, but to understand and accept as gospel Truth, that God brought them together and united them for His purpose, for all their sakes, but I can't help but wonder why He hasn't looked out for me? I feel kind of stuck. Being ok with being alone isn't an option. Going out and finding someone else hasn't proved to be an option either. It's really hard not to see this as punishment of some kind, something I brought on myself through some awful deed. I'd undo it if I only knew what it was. Would I be happily married now if I only had voted for Bush like my church told me to? There are plenty of happily married people out there who voted for Kerry, so what's so wrong with me?? Just some of the crazy places my mind goes. And time only seems to be making it worse. I used to love going to church, used to get a great deal of comfort from it, but now I can't even feel God anymore. I go to church and all I can feel is the betrayal and the abandonment, and I can't even stay through the whole service because I break down and cry.

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent, even though I've already said all of this ad nauseum, and for not judging me for "not wanting to help myself" or "not choosing to be happy" or whatever. I just don't know what else to try. But thanks, Stacy, you're a very special young lady.

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