Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hindsight

Zinj has asked me the following question. "In hindsight what advice do you give to us closeted SSA kids that want to stay in the church and have a family in our future? Its sounding scary."



I am not sure I have much advice for those of you contemplating marriage. All I can do is tell you more about my marriage and maybe it will help you decide what is right for you. A couple of things helped me to marry. I always wanted to be a father and have children of my own. But I really didn't have a plan until I met my future wife. She really was the main reason for my decision. It was always just bouncing around in my head. I knew I was gay, but I would work on changing my ssa and things would be just peachy.


My wife is the first women who I like to touch me, her kiss, her embrace, her hand on my body felt good for the first time. She made me feel like I could possibly be heterosexual. We dated for two years before we were married. We lived far apart and were together only during school. Anyway, we got married and things started to roll. I was so busy being married it was easy to put my "dark side" on the back burner. It was OK because soon it would be gone. Besides, I had more important things to do. The children started coming. There is nothing like the birth of a child. I really can't describe the feeling. It is just awesome. I love every moment of being a father. Every child is so different, unique and has it's own operating manual. What works on one doesn't work on the other one. But hey, I had family now. Things are looking good.

All this time my "dark side" is still there lurking around. My wife has always told me she feels more like a sister to me than my wife. This was before I came out to her. And now that she knows, it's a full time job to make her feel like a wife. I am doing better in that department. But at the same time the intimacy part is getting harder for me too. I would say that is number one on my "hard to do list". And, she has told me that if she knew about me before getting married she would have said no.

I often think about when all the kids are gone. I believe that will be my ultimate test yet. I feel that they are the glue holding the family together now. Even though I do plan things just with my wife, the kids rule the family schedule. But that is not such a bad thing either. I love nothing more than watching my kids grow up and experience life.

So all I can really say is I am still busy pushing the right buttons to make my marriage work. But I must say it sure is worth it.



9 comments:

Bravone said...

Bror, I think Zinj's question is a valid one for someone in his shoes. I have thought about what advice I would give. My response might be similar to yours. However, I do have one piece of advice for a gay man contemplating marriage - be completely open and honest with your fiance before you get married. If you to find someone who you are attracted to, if not also sexually, at least for other qualities that you desire in a companion, tell her about your sexuality. She must be allowed to make the conscience informed choice to enter into such a marriage.

I do believe gay men can live happy married lives, but it is difficult. Having said that, I think all marriage is difficult at one time or another.

The reason I feel so strongly that your future spouse needs to know is because you will need her to help you stay on the path and she deserves honesty. She needs to be able to trust you, to rely on you.

I didn't tell my wife about my early same sex life until shortly after we were married. I told her not to worry, that the idea of homosexuality repulsed me then. It did. I thought that sex within marriage would "cure" me of my homosexual desires. It did not. I didn't fully understand the nature of my sexuality, and it took years to admit to myself that I was gay. The 20 plus years that I have tried to gut it out alone was disastrous. I fell into cycles of addiction to porn and alcohol that I used to help me escape from dealing with my sexuality. Now with my wife's help and understanding, I am doing much better. I still struggle, but not alone. She is truly my eternal help meet.

If your future fiance is not willing to live with the challenges of life with a gay man, let her find someone else and keep looking. Hopefully the Lord will bless you with a wonderful companion such as mine.

Bror said...

Bravone: Yes, I totally agree with being up front and honest with your spouse about being gay. I think back now and know I was not honest, because like you, I just knew getting married would cure me. It never has and I never lost faith in being cured until four years ago. So when I realized this I knew I had to tell my wife. It was very hard but I did it. It felt so good. By the way, I have thought about you and your blog a lot today, your growing up post has brought back tons of my own memories of growing up. Thanks bud. :)

MoHoHawaii said...

I would answer Zinj's question this way.

1) Marriages almost never work well when there is a profound lack of sexual compatibility as is the case in mixed-orientation marriages. The mechanics of pair bonding get screwed up.

2) If you do decide to pursue an opposite-sex relationship, be aware that it is unethical to withhold information about your sexual orientation from the person you are dating. You should disclose this not just before you marry but before she invests in you emotionally. (Before the first date is a good time to do this.)

3) LDS culture and social conventions don't make items 1) or 2) easy. Further, celibacy is not an attractive option for most people. In a nutshell, this is an impossible situation.

I'd say leave the Church and find a nice person of the same sex to settle down with, but I realize that this path is not for everyone.

I was in a mixed-orientation marriage. I had no idea when I married what we would be in for. My wife knew early in our relationship, well before we were engaged of my homosexuality.

Beck said...

Some of us didn't "know" as much about ourselves, or wouldn't admit it, or couldn't cloak ourselves in the terms of being "gay" or even "SSA / SGA" when we found that ONE amazing woman who we fell in love with. So, there are some of us who have married, and who have struggled tremendously as we've come to grips after the fact and still are trying to hold all the pieces together.

So, if you do "know", then yeah, from another MOHO in a mixed-oriented marriage, she's got to be told. But, if she loves you just the same and accepts this and you work out a plan together to go forward, then...

more power to you!

But, it ain't going to be easy... but it is still possible. I'm into year 27!

MoHoHawaii said...

There are two issues: 1) what advice should be given to young people contemplating the possibility of a mixed-orientation marriage and 2) how should those currently in mixed-orientation marriages proceed?

I don't see an inconsistency in strongly cautioning young people against getting on the path of mixed-orientation marriage while at the same time supporting, affirming and celebrating those who find themselves in a mixed-orientation marriage of long duration.

Mike said...

I think that it is crucial for a man to share his orientation with the woman he is considering to marry, but I don't think that it should be so early on in a courtship.

I waited until I knew that my wife wanted to marry me, because I knew that she loved me and that she was committed to being with ME. Plus I didn't want everybody to know who I really was.

Bror, how heartbreaking it must have been for your wife to say that she probably wouldn't have married you if she knew the truth. A few years ago when my wife found that I was involved in pornography she briefly mentioned divorce and I have been afflicted with that fear ever since, that if it got to be too hard she might kick me out.

It seems that we married moho's have a few things in common: we have amazing kids and our wives are extraordinary. I think that this is how God helps us out in our situations by giving us something to work for.

MoHoHawaii said...

It's a very bad idea to court a woman while withholding this one crucial bit of information.

Yes, if you tell her about your homosexual orientation only after she has fallen in love with you and spent countless hours imagining your lives together and wanting you in that tender and painful way so familiar to all those who have ever known love, then technically you have made the disclosure prior to marriage. However, at that point of your relationship she has every incentive to dismiss or minimize the disclosure. People are wired like this. At this point, when she's waiting for a proposal of marriage (and fully occupied by this thought) her emotions (and hormones) are in high gear. But she's been seduced under very false pretenses. Of course, you get let off the hook when later the question is asked "Did you tell her before you married?"

So why not tell her early in the relationship, before she has fallen in love and invested in you emotionally? There can be only one answer: you might lose her. What young woman would begin courtship with a homosexual man? Far fewer than would marry a homosexual man they were in love with and had been dating for a long period of time.

santorio said...

the glue remains even when the kids are "gone"
my kids are married and like most marriages i assume have rocky times. i am sure sometimes that they "tough" it out, try to find solutions, etc, because they know that's what i do. they don't know what it is that makes my marriage tough, they just know that i put work into its maintenance. so they work harder to.

CiCi said...

Thank you so much for saying it's worth it to work so hard on your marriage. I love that comment!!!