Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The other day a close friend, who has had trouble with relationships (twice divorced) asked me what it was like to really be in love. I told him that being in love with someone means that you would have a very difficult time living without them, that your life would be completely turned upside down if they left you and that you want to spend not only this life with them, but all eternity. For me, if I lost my wife through death or divorce, I would never recover from it and I would have little to live for that had real meaning, other than my children. If I lost both my wife and children, I don't think I could survive. Literally. Maybe that's why, when it really comes down to it, I have never been with another man, even with all the desire and close calls, I have always found a way out. I'm not saying that those who have fallen and been unfaithful to their spouse don't love them enough. We do stupid things in the heat of the moment and Satan has a way of clouding our judgement, even in the face of great love. But, for me, when I ask myself what love is, it means staying with my wife and family in the face of great odds. In the face of living a life of being attracted to the same sex and choosing a wife and family, as well as a religion that views homosexual acts (not desires) as a sin.

12 comments:

Beck said...

Thanks for this post. Thanks for the courage and strength this gives me to keep keepin' on. Though I've imagined life with another man and life without her, I have always come back to the conviction that I am commited to my wife and this is where I should be.

playasinmar said...

Sounds like someone isn't quite being honest with themselves.

Scott said...

@playa, I don't think that's entirely fair...

I'm not sure that I personally agree with Forester's definition of being in love--though I believe it's a fine definition of love--but there's no reason to doubt that his description of his feelings for his wife are anything but honest. It's clear that he does love his wife and kids, and that that love means enough to him that it has prevented him from making choices that he might later have come to regret.

By my own definitions of various types of love I love my wife dearly (more than anyone else in the world) but I'm probably not in love with her. But it's really all semantics, and "being in love" is an imprecise enough thing that some leeway in the definition is certainly allowable.

J G-W said...

This definition fits for me. Thanks, Forester.

playasinmar said...

Ug, the idea that cold, clinical definitions of love are better than actually being in love... ug.

Scott said...

Ug, the idea that cold, clinical definitions of love are better than actually being in love... ug.

Who said that?

I don't think anyone said anything about it being better. I certainly didn't. I would love to be in love.

But allowing myself to fall in love would put me in a situation where I would have to choose the pain of denying myself that love or the pain of hurting my wife, who I love dearly. I'm not willing to hurt her, or I'm more willing to sacrifice my own happiness than I am to destroy hers.

I suppose that's another definition of love--putting another's happiness above your own. Again, not a definition of being in love, but a definition of love, at least. And I don't think it's a cold and clinical one. :)

playasinmar said...

"...allowing myself to fall in love would put me in a situation where I would have to choose the pain of denying myself that love or the pain of hurting my wife..."

The classic gay-man-straight-married catch 22.

I contend man isn't happy unless in love. Being in love will make you sad. That's a life of tragic un-fulfillment. And that ain't no way to live.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

The classic gay-man-straight-married catch 22... That's a life of tragic un-fulfillment. And that ain't no way to live.

I'm not arguing with you. It sucks. But it is what it is, and I make the best of it.

If I'm honest I have to admit that part of me hopes that my wife will arrive at the point where she is able to let go of me--where she wants someone to be in love with her in the way that I can't. Perhaps subconsciously I even subtly encourage her in this direction from time to time. She knows this, and it makes her sad, but she's also grateful that I remain with her.

But even if she was to decide that she wanted someone else and I became free to fall in love, that would still mean losing her, and that would bring with it its own pain and sorrow.

So, I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't, but still, overall, life is good and I'm happy.

Forester said...

I guess I don't understand the difference between falling in love and being in love with someone. All I know is that I would have a very hard time living withou my wife. So difficult that I would not be able to function - to the point that it would be very possible that I could never recover. If my wife died or left me, I would seriously consider ending my own life.


One of the reasons I wrote this specific post was to let everyone know that I really do love my wife and want to be with her forever, more than I want to be with another man. I know that most of my posts might indicate otherwise. I am also physically attracted to my wife. She is beautiful and I enjoy having sex with her. However, I find that I am not attracted to any other women, only men. I would not have married my wife if I was not physically attracted to her. I do admit that, at times, I have had to imagine being with another man while making love to my wife, but it's not the norm.

playasinmar said...

"...I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't..."

Sounds like Scott is being quite honest with himself. I doubt I brought you to this conclusion. I'm not that amazing. How long have you been living with this specter in your life? ever since the wedding? Before? Since?

"I guess I don't understand the difference between falling in love and being in love with someone."

I know, Forester. And you likely never will. See: Scott's self-analysis.

Scott said...

How long have you been living with this specter in your life? ever since the wedding? Before? Since?

I've only recognized the conflict since I acknowledged that I was gay, a little less than a year and a half ago (and it might have taken me a little while to actually process everything, so maybe it's only been a year, give or take, since I really understood my situation).

I refused to believe that I was anything other than straight when I got married, so I assumed that the love that I felt for my wife-to-be was exactly what a groom was supposed to feel for his bride. Until recently, I've suppressed any stirrings of feeling (physical or emotional) for any man, and refused to believe that what I had with my wife was anything less than the real deal.

Then I admitted to myself (and my wife) that I'm gay, and that what we had wasn't quite what we thought it was, and we've spent the last 16 or so months learning what we do have and how to make the most of it.

Since July 15, 2007