Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why did I get married? Part 3 (and why I'm still married)

Then I pull out the evergreen manual, something I’d stuffed away in a corner for years. I’m afraid to talk to a therapist cause. who knows what they’d say! I try to do some serious emergency self reparative therapy. I’m staying up crying at night for reasons I don’t really understand. Months go by.
I start to realize something is really wrong. I’m getting more and more depressed, and feeling more and more alone. So now what do I do? I start for the first time in years to reach out, writing something on a forum. Then I talk to my wife, tell her that I'm still attracted to her, but I'm really attracted to men. It hasn't gone away in all this time. I don't know what to do. She says, "well what would you do if we weren't married"..."Probably live a lonely celibate life." That doesn't seem like a good option to either of us. We move on.
She tells me it’s ok, just that I better not cheat on her.
I decide to go finally to meet with a counselor. I find myself talking, and talking, and talking about how I really feel. I start to read more and more on blogs and forums, trying to figure out how other people feel and how they deal with this. I start to look back over all the years.
And I realize, I'm gay. I’ve been gay. It didn’t just change one day. And it's not going to change.
I had been lied to. And worst of all I had lied to myself.
At first it’s overwhelming, trying to figure out what that actually means for my life (I’m still in that process). And then I feel the greatest relief I’ve felt in years. All that depression, all that wondering if it would be better for everyone if I were dead, it’s gone.
So here I am. I can't really go back to the innocence of not knowing. I can't (yet) get over feeling angry at all the people who told me that I could get married, and it would work out.
Others told me that just cause I was aroused by men didn't mean I was gay, I was just a teenager. That my sexual desires were just trying to fulfill unmet emotional needs, or to complete a missing dynamic from my relationship with my parents (Sources: evergreen books, parents, and LDS therapists). I was lied to by all the people that "Change is possible."
Then on top of that there was all the pressure at BYU to get married, all the failed dates and relationships. All the frustration.
Is any of that my wife’s fault? Absolutely not.


But the reason I got married? I love her. I feel that despite all the lies I’ve been told and all the delusion I’ve lived under. And I want to be loved by someone, I want to talk to someone about the things in my soul, someone to laugh with, to cry with. Someone to be with me when times are hard. She’s all that and more to me.
It’s still confusing though.
We've talked very openly about this. She doesn't want to divorce me. She really loves me. And I love her, but I don't know how to resolve this.
I don't understand it all. I don't know what I should do about it all. But here I am. And I feel like some of you out there can totally understand what I'm going through. That gives me hope, reading your stories, knowing I'm not alone. Can I do this? Am I crazy? I think so sometimes. But then I also feel such a deep love, such a deep desire to hold onto my best friend. You can see why someone doesn't just give that up.
But? And it’s that “but” that’s keeping me up at night, writing this blog.

7 comments:

  1. For me, accepting that I am gay and that's okay was extremely liberating. I can see a hot shirtless guy on the greenbelt, say to myself, "Damn!" and drive on!

    Not until I fully shared my life - all of it - with my wife, did I allow her to become my best friend. I am attracted to men, but she holds my heart. It sounds like you may be in the same boat, and it's not the Titanic!

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  2. You have a great attitude. It's very encouraging. And I think you're right. It's important to accept those feelings. To be our whole selves. To share our whole selves.
    The waters are kind of rough right now (to keep your analogy going). But I'm glad to know that I'm not doomed to crash into any giant icebergs!
    Thanks again for your comments.

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  3. Like I've told you before... in order to make your marriage work, you don't need to NOT be attracted to men, and you don't need to be attracted to ALL women... just to one. Fight for your marriage, give it your all. And don't forget about Christ through any of this.

    My heart goes out to you, Alex. Take care my friend.

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  4. My heart goes out to you as well. I know that if I had gotten married... and especially if I had kids, I could not give up on living that life. I can only imagine how difficult it must be. I know what it is like to love a woman though. There are a lot of women in my life that I love dearly and want only happiness for. I am so glad that I was able to come to the conclusions I did before I had entered into marriage with a woman. I'm so glad that I was able to realize that I deserved happiness and love too. And while I can feel love from a woman, it is never as fulfilling as the love I can feel from another man.

    I probably shouldn't be saying this to you because it doesn't make your situation any easier. On the one hand, you were misinformed and mislead. On the other hand, you made a commitment to a woman you love. What ever the answer is for you, I support you and sincerely hope that everything works out the best way possible. Thank you so much for being honest and open about your struggles and successes and not perpetuating the idea that attraction to the same sex can be "cured." I respect your strength and courage.

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  5. I really relate to your posts (found them though Invictus Pilgim's blog). I didn't accept I was attacted to men until I had been married for just over 5 years and had 1 kid. I'm also struggling through the challenges of trying to decide what do with the rest of my life ahead of me, but not wanting to leave a lot of collateral damage behind. Also, my wife is my best friend and I don't want to lose her either.

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  6. There's so much that I could say...every person is different. Each husband, each wife. I made it to the age of 40 and it didn't get better. It didn't get any easier. I felt like I was living someone else's life...a good one mind you, but someone else's. I think I could have made it "till deal do us part", but I would have been a shell of a human being. The minute I came out to my ex-wife, it was over. Though we lasted 2 more years after that, for us once homosexuality was introduced it was over. I can't even conceptualize those of you who have wives who say, "It's OK just don't cheat." I didn't cheat, but it was a deal breaker. And I'm thankful for that.

    In my case things turned out for the better. Find your own answers and once you find them have the courage to follow those answers! I'd only say that divorce needs to be a reward in and of itself. I'm better off being divorced whether or not I even find my true love. I think she is too. I believe the same for my children. That's not true for everyone as you can see from the comments above.

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