Monday, November 12, 2007

I think I just may have convinced my LDS therapist that now is not the time to tell my wife about my same gender attraction. He has been encouraging me to discuss it with her, in an open and loving way. I still believe that revealing these feelings to her would be counter-productive and could do more damage than good to both her and myself. Part of me does still yearn to tell her and I will tell her someday, just not right now. Someday could be a week from today, years from now or even in the next life. I've prayed about telling her and continue to get the impression that there is no need to rush into it. When the time is right, I will receive the guidance I need to move forward.

Part of the basis for not telling her comes from the idea that my attraction to men is not as black and white as the world would have us believe. Having feelings of same gender attraction does not mean that I am gay. Coming out to my wife has the potential of creating a black and white scenario where I am portrayed as being gay in the world view of what being gay means. I know this sounds like I am playing with semantics here, trying to re-define what it means to be gay. But isn't that what we, as married gay mormons are attempting to do? We question all that the world has taught us about being gay. We attempt to erase the line of gay and straight by living a life that is in essence both gay and straight. Some may say that we must then be bisexual, being able to marry and have children while still being attracted to men. But this too is not inherently true. I am not attracted to other women, but I am attracted to my wife.

It has been possible in my life to diminish my attraction for men. I'm not sure how this is possible, but it has and does occur. I must be careful however in this endeavor. I do not place myself in a position of success and failure, with success being the total loss of attraction to men. Success for me is getting to the point where I am willing to accept all that the Father has in store for me. I believe that He can take away my feelings of same gender attraction, but whether he will do it or not does not play into my ideas of success, nor does it determine my happiness. I have learned that I can be happy today, just as I am. If tomorrow, God decides to take away these feelings, then I will accept that, but if not, I will continue to live the best that I can with what I have been given. Having feelings of same gender attraction does not mean that I am less of a person. It does not imply that I need to be fixed. It does not require that I overcome a sinful state. I am clean, I am whole, just as I am. Being faithful to my wife and holding true to the covenants I have made with God is what makes me clean, whole and happy. This is the right path for me and my life. This is what I have chosen, and I rejoice that God has given me a choice to live the way I want to live - to follow His guidance, even though at times it seams difficult and seams to make no logical sense.


Crow's View said...

Oh Forester. I love your blog. You know when you are married you need to share things. I've always wondered what the difference between wives knowing that you are attractive and attracted to other women and knowing that you are attracted to guys. Acting on either would be unfaithfulness. But neither in itself means you love her or are attracted to her anyless.

I know when and if I marry, I will tell my wife before we marry. This is because this is also something she will have to deal with. I mean I don't see it as being any different then her thinking I think another women is hot. The point is I'm married to her, I've made coveanents to her and her alone. So thats all there is to it. Looking at anyone in lust, man or women would be unfaithfulness.

I think we sometimes think that our attraction to men may make it more difficult. But the end results are the same. Faithfullness is faithfulness. This is your trail, but it is also now hers. You share these things now. You both love each other. Its no worse or better then any other trail.

I'll keep you in my prayers. By the way your blogs do inspire me and I'm glad that you post. I hope to hear from you soon.

One of So Many said...

One one hand it might be like your SSA is something you've been suffering with in secret, hiding the pain from your wife. Sharing it may make you feel more connected and united. You may find greater support and caring extended to you and comfort to your pain.

On the other hand it could be the emotional equivalent of smashing your wife's face in with a brick.

I think it depends on the relationship that you have with your wife. How you think she will react may not be they way she actually does...for good or bad.

I am glad I was able to tell my wife before we got married. Now we can both be in denial and share the room with a white elephant that goes unacknowledged and unobserved.

Do it on your own terms and in your own time because after you tell her you AND your wife will have to deal with the consequences and fallout.

playasinmar said...

It's interesting to see you consider telling her in the next life because, you know, you won't wait that long.

Forester said...

I wonder how many men have taken their attraction for other men to the grave, never telling their wife. I think it happens all the time. Only recently have men become more open with their wives about it. I really have no problem never telling her, but you are right Playa, I probably will tell her sooner rather than later.

I don't think she would take it the same as me looking at other women. I think it would be much more difficult for her, although for me, it is very similar. I have years of learning and coming to terms with it. I can't expect her to ever understand it as much as I do.

I wish I could have told her before we were married, but back then, I didn't understand. I was one of those that thought it would eventually go away.

Beck said...

Forester: It took me 23 years of marriage before "the time was right". Don't let anyone tell you the when-and-where of your life. What she really wants to know is that you love her and want to be with her and that she can trust you with her life, even with her eternal life. I've been spending nearly the last three years trying to rebuild and restrengthen that trust.

It's easy for someone who "knows" they are gay and are comfortable with that identity to say they will tell their future wife BEFORE they get married. It's an entirely different thing, when one wishes he could have told her before being married, but back then, "I didn't understand. I was one of those that thought it would eventually go away." You're not alone in those thoughts, my brother!

Happy Utahn said...

Hey cousin... I have been reading your blog for a while and wanted to say a few things after reading your last post.

I understand fairly well how you feel about saying something to your wife or not at this time. When I told my wife that I was "gay" I knew I could never take it back, it was scary. Once you say something, it's out there and you cannot undo it. Saying this aside, if you never say anything you will stay where you are and nothing will change, this may be what you want. I didn't know what gay was when I told my wife, I'd never known anyone that was gay or had any gay experiences but I did know that I was attracted to men and felt that she needed to know and understand this because I was not being fulfilled on many levels and obviously, she wasn't either. My wife thought something was wrong with her and that she wasn't attractive... this was a burden that I could not bear, I was causing her to doubt herself and I felt horrible because I truly loved her and wouldn't ever have wanted to cause her pain. Your situation may well be different and you may be the only one who is experiencing any difficulty with how you feel but if your depression has resulted because of your SSA, it is affecting your wife and you should be mindful of that... you probably are and this is part of what makes this so difficult.

In my opinion, your feelings for men will not go away, I don't think God would change this, I prayed for things to change for many years and these kinds of feelings never changed and it just became more difficult over time. Is it really a question of living with this secretly until you die or acting on your feelings and changing your life as you know it now?... for me, it was and I had to be true to myself and this is one thing that I can look back on and really feel good about. Your decision on whatever you do could be completely different... unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a good answer for everyone. The internal conflict you are feeling won't go away, honestly, I don't think God has anything to do with it; we are who we are and we have to decide how we want to live as long as we are here on this planet. My heart hurts for you, you are my cousin and part of my family and I will always support you and care about you. Thanks for posting your feelings, you are helping people who are in your same situation probably more than you might realize. While I am no longer part of the LDS religion, the things you say do hit home with me... I guess there are no easy answers; we have to live with all of our own decisions and deal with the consequences good or bad.

I am enjoying the Sunday paper this morning with my partner of 6 years and have never been happier... for me, I made the best decision I believe I could have and do not have any regrets, it wasn't easy but it was extremely fulfilling and is to this day. My hope is that you can do what makes you happy and fulfilled too.

gentlefriend said...

I can't add anything new to the wise counsel above. My prayers are with you. I do know that as scarey as it is to do it, the Lord will help you both work it through to your mutual advantage.

Distinguishing Preoccupation said...

I have always loved your blog, Forester. For some reason, though you and I are in very different situations in life, I can somehow really relate to your voice.

In reading Parallel Mormons blog and from my own personal experience, being open and honest with my feelings with those who matter most to me has been the greatest blessing I could ask for. In coming out to my parents my relationship with them has improved so much. I couldn't ask for a better situation with my parents right now. It has closed a gap that stood between us. My relationship with my sister that had faded over the years has become stronger than ever and there is nothing that we keep from each other anymore. We have both acknowledged that we have been so distant for the last 7 years. Revealing your orientation or ssa or however you prefer to identify yourself to you wife, though painful and uncomfortable may be one of the best things for your marriage. When I was an active participant in Evergreen I never heard of any wives in the group that didn't want to help or be of tremendous support. She is your "Help Meet". By sharing with her, you are allowing her to fulfill her role as a wife.

Perhaps I stick my nose in too far where it is not needed. I apologize if that is the case. Best of luck with everything.


Since July 15, 2007