Friday, December 21, 2007

I've developed a close relationship with a guy over the past two years. I helped him through a divorce (his second) and have been helping him come to terms with his membership in the church and his beliefs. We have become very close friends and I have told him on occasion that I loved him and am grateful for his friendship. Yesterday, I went to his house to hang out for an hour or so on my lunch break, which at times can turn into three or four hours and lots of shopping, driving, hiking, etc. But lately, we have been seeing each other less often. He is not gay, extremely good looking and knows that I am gay.

Yesterday, before lunch, we sat on his couch. He was on his cell phone, sitting forward on the edge of the couch. I was leaning back, reclined, giving me the advantage of looking at him from behind. I had an incredible feeling of wanting to lean up against him, lay my head on his back, or at least put my hand on his back, but I knew I couldn't. He would react negatively. Instead, I just moved my hand closer to his leg on the couch, wanting to touch him, but I didn't. I just moved it as close as I could get without touching. We sat there for a few minutes while he talked on the phone. What would be so wrong about rubbing his back or putting my hand on his back? Why would he take offense? If I tried to touch him, would I then lose his trust?

Before I told him that I was gay, he had no problem undressing - dressing in front of me. One time he asked me to put lotion on his back. We were at a park and I was so uncomfortable doing this in public that it eradicated any pleasure I might have had in feeling his bare skin. On another occasion, he was trying on some of my shirts to borrow one. He wasn't wearing any undershirt and it was incredible to be next to him, so close. This was soon after I told him that I was gay. He noticed something was wrong and asked me what it was. I told him the truth - that I wanted so much to touch his chest. He handled it very well, but he has never taken off his shirt in front of me again. If I were straight, we would hug more often like we used to, we would have more contact and we wouldn't worry about it like we do now. In this respect, I hate that I ever told him I was gay - not because I want to take advantage of him in a sexual type of way, only because I want to be close to him, like we used to be. I thought coming out to him would make us closer, and I guess in some ways it has, but in reality, I feel further away from him.

Yesterday, when he finished his phone conversation, he stood up and turned to look at me. He immediately looked down at my hand and for an instant realized how close it had been to him. He didn't say anything, but I could see in his eyes his disapproval. At lunch he asked why we hadn't been seeing each other as much as we used to. I told him that because he was now through the divorce and remarried that he hadn't needed me as much. He stated that he didn't want us to have to need each other in order to be friends. I just sat there silent, not telling him how much I depended on that need as an integral part of our friendship. I couldn't tell him that. The risk of seeing that disapproval in his eyes again would hurt too much.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Is it really possible? Is it possible to control same-gender attraction within a mixed-orientation marriage? I've already made a lot of the hard decisions. I've been able to marry an incredible woman, have children and have an incredible family life. I've been attracted to my wife and able to perform sexually. But, with all this, I'm still attracted to men. I've been through bouts of moderate porn addiction. I've been through occasions where I nearly hooked-up with another guy. I've chatted on-line with other gay men. I've met other gay men with whom I was attracted and would have liked to pursue a friendship and possibly more. But, I never seem to follow through on any of these. I've been able to put the internet porn and chat rooms at bay. I no longer chat with gay men, but I do look at the occasional porn - maybe once a month - and even then it's not really graphic porn. Is it okay to view a little porn once a month in order to keep any more serious transgression at bay? So far, it has worked for the most part, but not without damage to my spirit.

I want to be completely clean, all of the time. I don't know if I will ever be free of same gender attraction, but it seems that I can keep it "under control" to a certain degree. Will it always be a struggle not to look at any porn and/or masturbate? And if so, do I consider this a small trade-off for being able to have a wife and family? Does this mean I will never be clean in this life, no matter how many times I repent, because I know eventually that I will make a mistake? Are there others, in my same situation, who are having better success? I think that overall, I can live a happy and fulfilled life in a mixed-orientation marriage, stay active in the church, true to my beliefs, attend the temple and serve in callings. But can I raise the bar? Should I try harder with the potential of greater success but also a greater possibility of failure? Or do I just continue on my current, relatively successful course, accepting my weaknesses, and perhaps knowing that this is the best I can do?
Since July 15, 2007