Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Reflections (ramblings) on a Wednesday Morning 8:00 AM

I'm in the middle of finals week. I need to write my papers. I probably couldn't have picked a worse time to do this. But I need a minute to reflect.
So much has happened in so little time. I'm starting the process of coming out. It's slow, but I'm telling a few people here and there, I'll write more about that later.
*Warning.* This next section gets pretty personal. (Some of this is rambling, so much like the last post, take it for what it's worth)
As far as my marriage goes, I have so many different feelings. Here is how things have been lately. As you can see from my last post, things have been pretty up and down. My wife and I fight (not even that bad or anything) but things are tense. We talk about it, understand each other better, and make up. But then as part of that, I think "alright, I feel like I trust my wife, I can be open with her, and I'm horny, we should have sex." And then it's just all wrong. I'm fake in my affection. I can't "make" myself do what needs to be done to initiate sex. So I don't. But then I walk away frustrated.
Sure we've been having sex all along. But she always began it. I thought I was straight (or had been made straight, mostly). That made it a lot easier.
So I decided(and she agreed) that at least for now we just wouldn't have sex anymore.
And I feel great. It takes a lot of pressure off.
At the same time, I wonder, "why am I still married then?"
I think that was the last straw for my wife. Not in a bad way. She didn't flip out or anything, but she did tell her parents. And this last weekend (before our agreement but after I first brought up divorce), she told my Mom, who then told my Dad, which initiated all kinds of drama.
Her parents are luckily, not crazy. My parents are really interesting, but that's a long story. I love them, don't get me wrong. But they are pretty crazy.
Her parents apparently still think I'm a nice guy. They're not angry with me. They think that ya, maybe we should get divorced.
So my wife and I talked openly about it. It felt good. When I wasn't talking about it, I'd just get home and be sad, and down. Getting it out in the open feels a lot better. We even started talking about who gets what. She of course gets the cat. I get the wii. I could go on, but it's something that both of us are seriously considering.
And it's confusing. It makes me see how amazing my wife is. I'm grateful she's who she is. If I could be married to any woman, I don't see how I could have picked much better. I start thinking that, and then I'm tempted to start the cycle again...
But I won't. At least not how I have been. I mean if all this lead to a sort of reconciliation, I think I could be happy with that. But I fundamentally believe it's not going to work out. If I'm wrong, I'm sure I'll figure that out. But I can't let fear of being wrong keep me from starting down this road, as painful as it is as times.
I think I'm learning. I think it's hard. I never wanted to be a person who got a divorce.But I don't have kids. There's a lot of reasons that making this decision now is a lot easier than making it down the line.
Even still, I'm not rushing to do it. I mean, I really genuinely enjoy being with my wife. I don't enjoy not being able to explore things about myself freely, but then I kind of think my wife is giving me that in a way.
I don't like feeling like I'm being false with people. Can I get over that? Maybe. But it's sort of conflicting (as you all know) being married and being gay. Some of you are fantastic at negotiating the pitfalls and hazards of that. I don't feel like I am so good at it.
There's a lot that enters into all of this!
We'll see. I'll keep you posted.
Don't get me wrong. There's some sadness. There's some regret in there of things I could and should have done better. I realize though I'm sort of already in the moving on stage. That I've already started grieving a loss. Which is weird, because I haven't lost it yet!
Mostly what I feel though is relief. I feel happy that I can accept myself, that I can embrace who I am and start to live my life again. That's something I wouldn't trade for anything.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Unanswered questions

So two nights ago I told my wife that I think we should get a divorce. I didn't really plan on it, but I was just so down that night, and when she asked me what was wrong, it was time to spill it. My wife just kind of calmly listened, and then I went to bed.
I woke up pretty shaken. The next day things were a bit tense as we started to try to make plans, even in the little things. But when we got in the car to head up to see my parents (planned trip) we started talking more about it. Much different than the night before, we actually started communicating openly.
I started to (and rightly so) question some of the assumptions on which I made my decision. There's no reason for me to rush into it.
I don't think I have time to get into all the details of that (it was a 4 hour car ride) but what it comes down to is, do the problems in our marriage come because I'm gay or because I haven't put enough into our marriage? Is my lack of commitment a result of a lack of commitment or an inability to be committed because of my sexual orientation?
And here's where it gets dicey. I think it's both. I think there are some things I can change, and while I'm not able to "change" my sexual orientation (or willing to go through conversion therapy which (I've been there before, it doesn't work), there are a lot of other things I am willing to change.
But then, and maybe you can relate, but if not, that's alright. For me I have a hard time knowing that it might not work out, knowing about the trouble of the road, not knowing if and when we'd have kids if we stay married. It's hard for me to commit not knowing it will work. But then again, isnt' faith something like that?
Lately, I've been learning to embrace ambiguity. In some ways, the black and white, cut and dry world view was great. I appreciated Scrum central's post on Fowlers stages of faith (I should probably get that book). But embracing the uncertainty is so much more rich. I think I want to make this, my marriage, my sexual orientation, cut and dry. It just isn't. It's not as simple as saying, "you're gay, get divorced." There's so much more intricacy and complexity to it, which is exciting and terrifying. I think though that I've tried to make it cut and dry, and now I'm in the process of undoing that.

We didn't exactly resolve anything, but I'd say I backed down from my "we need to get divorced" position. Where I'm at now is a list of unanswered questions.
At the same time it's so frustrating to be reminded constantly in every day things, holding hands, etc. that I don't have feelings for my wife. Or at the least that they changed, or aren't as strong, or whatever. I guess the unanswered question is, they were there, weren't they? It's not possible that it was just part of pretending to be a straight person of trying to conform. I'm pretty sure that I couldn't have done or felt the way I did it it was all an act. I guess what I'm saying is that maybe the "false persona" I created maybe wasn't so all the way false after all.
It kind of feels sometimes like there's two parts of me, duking it out. Sometimes I listen a lot more to one, and sometimes the other. I think it comes from me shoving a way part of myself, out of fear of being "found out" or because of guilt and shame. I think trying to squash it, it came back with a vengeance.
But was everything about my old self a lie? I doubt it. There's no need, as bravone said to "throw out the baby with the bathwater."
Is it any better to quash that part of me, only to have it come back with a vengeance so to speak later?
It makes for what my wife calls "A roller coaster." I think others have felt that. I think I'm ok with that, but my wife has told me that even though she loves me, that she won't just be there for me to treat however I want. I can't expect her (nor do I want her) to put up with that.
I originally decided to get a divorce in part because I just couldn't take the lack of decision anymore. But now I feel a peace in the uncertainty, in the not knowing, in taking this journey even without knowing.
My favorite hymn is "Lead Kindly Light." I especially like the line
Keep thou my feet, I do not ask to see.
The distant scene, one step enough for me.

I do now know exactly where things will head. I do not that things, whichever way the go, will get better. Sometimes it feels like I have to walk this "lonesome road, all by myself (James Taylor song, fyi)" I actually know though that I'm not alone. That means a lot to me. I think I can't but take the road a step at a time, and see where I go. It's going to be quite the journey.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tough Questions, No Easy Answers

Things are especially difficult right now. Both my wife and I have been asking some tough questions, like, why would you want to be married if you don't feel for me the same thing that I feel for you. (Among other impossible questions) It's been painful. I don't think I shouldn't have been honest with her, but it doesn't make it any easier when I hurt her. When things are insecure.
Things are sort of past that impossible point where I feared that what I said would effectively end our marriage.
And maybe that's what's going on. I don't know. Everything is so new, so present, that I don't know what to make of it.
But it's lead me to lose a lot of sleep. I've basically come to a rational conclusion as to why I should divorce my wife. I can justify it to myself and even she sees why I would make that choice. But my wife has basically come to the conclusion that she loves me, and so she can't divorce me.
That puts me in a really difficult spot.
Do I feel some sort of peace coming to this point? Not really. Staring divorce in the mouth doesn't feel good. It's mostly just brought pain and sadness.
Last night if I'd chose to, it would have been over. After being at that point (this was just over 24 hours ago) I'd say that a lot of complicated things have happened. I don't know how to describe them. Some of them are accepting that this might be the best path, others are trying to hold onto my wife, to make it better, to hope it can work.
My wife and others ask me, "well what do you want?" That's a hard question in and of itself, because I think I want different things. I want to hold onto the relationship I have with my wife, which is if troubled, full of good things. Another part of me wants so badly what's missing in my relationship with my wife, what's become painfully obvious.
Thank you for your friendship, your love, and your support. It means a lot to me. This isn't easy. I don't have an answer to anyone in a similar situation,
but I admire the faith and love you put into living your lives, whatever path you choose.