Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Coming Back

It's 1:30 AM. I should be sleeping or working on a paper. I'm not particularly restless, but I feel the need to write.

I'm at the end of my first year Ph.d program. My wife and I filed for divorce two months ago. I told my wife right after Christmas that I was gay. It seemed like the right thing to do. That seems like a long time ago but it wasn't. So much has happened since then.

Sometimes I wish that I could take the last few months back and do them over. Because while I may be gay, that word may not mean what you think it means. It doesn't mean you made a mistake getting married. It doesn't mean you don't love your wife. It doesn't mean you'll be happier leaving your wife. It doesn't mean you need to be in a relationship with a man to be happy. And it doesn't mean you have to leave the church. It doesn't mean you have to have sex with men to be true to yourself. And it doesn't mean you have to come out and tell everyone about it.

If you choose to do any of those things, you may be happier. It may be what you need. But it doesn't have to be. Me,I did some of those things, but not all. I've never kissed a man. I've never had sex with anyone but my wife. I'm in love with her. I miss her now. I want to be with her and I want to kiss her and hold her. If that means I'm bi, that's fine. Maybe I'm just a gay man in love with his wife. And maybe it doesn't matter if I fit into a box or are doing things according to what other people think I should do.

Leaving my wife hasn't brought me happiness. That's not quite right. My wife leaving me hasn't brought me happiness. There was sort of a mutual leaving, and a mutual getting divorced, and a mutual giving up on the relationship.

I've learned a lot since then. And I've made a lot of mistakes. There are things I wish I'd known. I wish I had come to know myself and what I wanted before I got married. I don't regret marrying her, but I was immature and uncommitted. And the list could go on.

I blamed a lot of problems in my relationship on being gay. But maybe there are reasons we got into the relationship or good things precisely because I'm gay. It is only part of the picture. There are so many dimensions and aspects to a relationship. Don't let this define you or your relationship completely.

I guess all I want to stay is don't go running off and leaving your wife just yet. There will be people that will tell you that's the only way to be happy. You are living a lie. You aren't being true to yourself. Well going out and doing things that you've never done before with people you don't really know isn't being anymore true to yourself. You may not even want to do them, so don't feel pressure to. I didn't do them. But I almost did. That's another story.

I'm back in the church now. I never really left it but I did stop going for a few weeks. It's not easy. But it's brought me a lot of help in a time when I need it. I can neither renounce my faith, nor deny this part of myself. I think I have a long road ahead.

I often wish I had my wife and best friend by my side to help me. She's done a lot for me, and I haven't taken the time to thank her for it. I didn't think about her needs enough. I was selfish and self centered, and if I could go back I'd change that. I should have put her needs above my own. And now I'm going to. I've hurt our relationship by the things I said and the things I've done. I would change that too.

The point is, be true to yourself. Not to some ideal of what you think you should be or be doing as a gay man, or otherwise. And be true to God. And let the other things fall in place.

I'm an imperfect man, giving an imperfect message. But I hope the message will come across in spite of this.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. It's just what I needed to hear, especially today. You are being truly brave. I'm here if you'd ever like to e-mail me.

  2. Give yourself time. There's no off-on switch that makes all the feelings turn off/on at will. I wish there was, would certainly make life easier. Pace yourself and eventually things will start making more sense but it is perfectly normal to have feelings of longing, confusion and even wanting everything to go back to how it was before. Let me know if there's anything I can do for you as well. Time heals everything.

  3. Wise words from Miguel. It takes time. Things are going to get a lot better.

    I'd be happy to talk to you by phone, email or IM. (My email address is on my profile.)

  4. It's been mentioned that "it takes time" .... I must be confused.. but WHAT takes time exactly?

    It seems to me that it's TIME that has brought Alex to the above conclusions.

    Is it being implied that "it takes time" being "okay" with "being gay" ?

    Personally, I think your post was incredibly insightful. Take care my friend.

  5. Good luck! I've been out to my wife for 2 years and we are still trying to make it work. Its a rough journey, no matter which road you choose.

  6. Miguel and Moho, I appreciate the support, but I worry you might have missed the point. And if I've misunderstood you, I apologize.
    I agree that it takes time, but I don't what will happen with time. I think all roads ahead are difficult and frankly not all in my hands. And while the path to embracing an LGB identity and entering a same-sex relationship is a valid choice and one I respect, I don't know that it's the one for me. Whatever I ultimately choose and my wife ultimately chooses, I want to say that I respect everyone in the community who chooses to be married to a woman. The fact that they are same-sex attracted, whether homosexual or bisexual doesn't mean their relationship is doomed to failure. I think the fact that they are open with their wives and at least with some others is a huge breakthrough and one that helps avoid a lot of the issues of the past with closeted gay men putting themselves and their wives at risk.
    I do think that divorce is a valid option as well, but it's not something anyone should feel pressured to do. And just because that's how your relationship ended, doesn't mean theirs will too.
    Now I can imagine finding happiness in a same-sex relationship, you feel a strong desire to share to everyone how valid and positive it is, especially with all the negative stereotypes that exist in the Mormon community. I feel that as a society we often set same-sex relationship up to fail, and I commend the bravery it takes to be openly in a relationship when sometimes society doesn't give you credit or support. All I'd ask is, and this is more general than directed at you specifically, if I do go back with my wife, or if others choose to do so, you give them the respect and support that they need and don't set them up to fail either.

  7. *I don't know what will happen with time.

  8. Hi Alex,

    To be clear, I'm a huge believer in the principle of self-determination. See here for example.

    If you and your wife decide to reconcile, you can count on my respect and best wishes.

  9. Alex,
    I'm only just catching up with blogs. I echo MohoHawaii's thoughts, no one is saying there's one way to go about anything and no one is less of a person for choosing their own way, just support, that's what we're here for, regardless.

  10. As a wife of a gay guy, I applaud your words.