Ruellen Forsyth Nicholson thank you for your mature and experienced comments. They are very helpful in my roll as a parent and older individual.
I wish I could say Utah was the only place women suffer from depression or domestic abuse, but it certainly isn't. Unfortunately, as a Divorce Lawyer in Canada, I see more and more people are suffering from emotional and mental illness and the fragmentation of families. It is NOT as result of people who advocate commitment to relationships or preach eternal marriage. it is because we have fewer successful families and role models for young people to imitate or duplicate. Satan is attacking families and is getting more successful all the time. Both our young women and our young men need to know that they need to be honest to themselves, committed to the Lord's Commandments and willing to give of themselves to a worthy partner, and build successful families in a world which resembles a war zone more than a Mormon folklore fairytale. Perhaps we would be less interested in finding fault with good principles and more interested in looking in the mirror and trying to correct the selfishness and deficiencies we can identify. Sorry, Jewelfox, but BYU never encouraged me to make long term commitments before I did appropriate research. Every professor I ever had there told me that listening to the Spirit was a better gauge than following the crowd. We all need to look at package contents before we believe the labels. My choices are my decision, and I have to take the blame if they don't cut it for eternity.
To Jo, my heart aches for you. But remember that it's a temporary separation, that's the beauty of being linked and sealed as a family. Christ has not left you alone to carry this burden. Someone once said after losing their spouse, it's like living in black and white. It's going to take some time to see the colors come back, but they will.
This is why losing a spouse, especially an eternal one. Is so hard. You lose 1/3 of you plus the 1/3 you created together. You feel like you only have a fragment left.
The number of women (including in Utah) who are suffering from depression or domestic abuse, or who are taking refuge in women's shelters (sometimes with their children), suggests that it might be more helpful to teach people how to recognize the signs of narcissism and abuse than to tell them to stay in relationships no matter what. Especially when dating culture at places like BYU encourages people to make those eternal commitments without even knowing the person they're being sealed to, and when the stigma against single Mormons (which another Meridian writer expounded on earlier) is another pervasive form of unhealthy peer pressure.
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